We want ‘free land’

Nellmapius residents demanding “free land” lined Old Bronkhorstpruit Road in Pretoria on one side as police nyalas and cars parked on the other side.

Large groups of people arrived in the area today to demand they be given free land to build their own houses.

Tshwane metro police officers and members of the SA Police Service wore helmets and were armed.

Residents Sarah Msiza and Frida Sehone said they were tired of waiting for RDP houses and wanted land to build their own houses.

Msiza said she had been living in a shack for more than a year in Nellmapius and heard this morning that stands were available.

“We arrived to find police saying we can’t be here. We want stands so we can build our own homes, we don’t want RDPs. We could wait for RDP houses for up to 10 years,” she said.

Sehone said the houses in Nellmapius only had one bedroom which was unreasonable for large families.

“We have to sleep on the living room and kitchen floors, because there are many of us,” she said.

They had arrived at the open field around 8am and were told they would be addressed by their councillor at noon.

“They said she would be here at 12pm, its already passed. She won’t come.”

Residents started singing in the street and burnt tyres as officials monitored the situation.

Vans carrying sheets of corrugated iron were parked along the road.

A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters addressed the growing crowd calling for them to walk steadily onto the piece of land barred by two nyalas.

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