RDP invaders vow to permanently occupy houses in Lehae, near Joburg

2018-10-24 21:34
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Homeless residents of Lehae, south of Johannesburg, have vowed to permanently occupy unoccupied houses in the area.

The group said they would never vacate the houses until the government provided them with alternative housing. They have occupied 26 of the 52 incomplete houses.

The invasion at Lehae Phase 2 began on Friday and residents were not deterred by government threats to kick them out of the properties.

Community leader Alice Khoarai said nothing would move her out of the house she occupied.

Incomplete houses 

The houses have no electricity or taps and the roof has no ceiling. Occupants are using bedroom doors as front doors after Joburg metro police officers took them away on Sunday.

There are no keys to lock the doors and inhabitants rely on each other for protection at night and during the day.

"We are not going anywhere. We don't know to whom these houses belong to because when we enquire, we are told they belong to the City (of Joburg). Others say they belong to the province and some say they are still in the hands of the contractors. We are not going anywhere. We are staying in those houses," Khoarai said.

Residents claimed the houses have been unoccupied for three years while they have been on the housing waiting list for years.

Nkele Mabena arrived in the area and rented an RDP house since 2013.

"I am unemployed and can't afford to pay rent. We have sent many memorandums to various government departments enquiring about these houses. At some stages, we erected shacks and those shacks were later demolished and remnants thereof were taken away by metro officers."

Mabena said they have not received any feedback to their demands and last week they decided to occupy the properties.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  servcie delivery

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