House saga continues

2017-07-05 06:02
In an intervention of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s housing department, an alternative place to erect a shack was offered for the tenants of this house, which had apparently been damaged by the owner.Photo: Boipelo Mere

In an intervention of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s housing department, an alternative place to erect a shack was offered for the tenants of this house, which had apparently been damaged by the owner.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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A solution has been found by the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s housing department concerning a house that was allegedly vandalised by the owner, presumably after she had sold it to someone else.

The RDP house in Tyala Street, Sobantu, was vandalised on Thursday, 1 June, after the owner – the aunt of the tenant – showed up with her sons and instructed them to break down the house.

The shocked tenant, Jeanette Mokapane (57), had been looking after the property for over 19 years.

She had reportedly been relaxing outside when the incident happened.

The housing chairperson of the municipality, Obakeng Plaatje, ­revealed that their hands were tied due to the fact that a title deed had been issued more than ten years ago.

“But an intervention we were able to undertake, was to find an alternative place, in Homevale, for the tenant to erect a shack that she was offered by the owner,” said Plaatje.

Plaatje said even though the husband was ready for the move, the wife was still stalling, while she temporarily lives with a relative in Soul City.

Mokapane confirmed that she had kept the owner updated on developments concerning the property since she had moved there. The owner used to contact her whenever there were documents to be signed, like during the construction process.

The tenant now cries foul and finds it unfair that they were not even given first preference to buy the house.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality clarified that the house had not been sold to anyone, but that the title deed owner had broken it down with the aim of renovating it.

Plaatje elaborated that the municipality recognised that the tenant would not have the financial means to buy the house, even if it were for sale.

“In this regard, no rent has been paid in the last 15 years. The owner has offered to pay the outstanding municipal bill,” explained Plaatje.

He added that it was out of the municipality’s hands, as there was an agreement between the two parties.

“Legally she has the right to do whatever she likes with her property, like selling it or developing it.

“It seems difficult for the tenant, as she admitted that she had not been notified to move out, although she had shown nothing but loyalty toward the owner. We as the Sol Plaatje Municipality cannot interfere, as the owner has sole custody of the property. However, we do feel the pain, just like the Kapa Bokone Community Development Foundation, who are looking out for the best interest of the community, especially regarding evictions.

“The municipality cannot be blamed for everything.”

He said the upcoming housing summit was expected to address issues like these, as the municipality and various stakeholders would explain the laws and regulations pertaining to land.

  • See picture on p. 3.

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