Tempers flare at Park

2016-12-14 06:02
Tempers flared as new beneficiaries of the Lerato Park phase 2 Housing Development confronted officials about the changes of the beneficiaries. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Tempers flared as new beneficiaries of the Lerato Park phase 2 Housing Development confronted officials about the changes of the beneficiaries. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Tempers flared at the Phase 2 Lerato Park Integrated Housing Development Project as the new houses were officially declared open for allocation on Thursday (08/12).

This is after residents realised that they were being led into believing that they were the only beneficiaries of the newly-built houses in the Lerato Park squatter camp.

It only became clear to them on the day when the delegation handed over five of the houses to disabled and elderly beneficiaries, mostly women.

The delegation was led by the Northern Cape premier, Sylvia Lucas, the MEC for the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta), Alvin Botes and the Sol Plaatje mayor, Mangaliso Matika.

The Phase Two houses have been in the spotlight since the first few houses were completed and ward councillor Paul Kock was accused of tampering with the beneficiary list.

Botes commented on the issue, saying that the list was “sanitised and free of errors”.

One disgruntled beneficiary was accompanied by DA councillor Shane Griqua. This beneficiary accused the allocation process of turning racist against coloureds.

In response to Griqua’s allegations, the premier promised to solve her problem and lashed out at Griqua for playing political games with poor people’s circumstances.

“There is no coloured issue in Lerato Park. If two people have the problem of not receiving their houses and I promise to sort it out, there is no one to second guess me,” said Lucas.

“The beneficiary criteria is not on a first come, first served basis.

“This project belongs to all the people of the Northern Cape, those who stayed in Bobo se Plaas (Lerato Park) and other places.

“If the process worked on a first come, first serve basis, then we would have 22 year olds getting houses while elderly and disabled people stay in shacks.

“We give the vulnerable first preference.”

“This clearly shows that we who stayed here forever are being tossed aside if they say the list was sanitised to benefit anyone who qualifies for a housing subsidy,” said Kegomoditswe Solomon, one of the complainants.

“We will continue to be the guards of Lerato Park.”

During the public gathering inside the tent, Kock told the residents that every beneficiary will be displayed to them for approval before they move into the houses.

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