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By Peter Mothiba

City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo
City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo

The City of Tshwane embarked on a by-law enforcement operation last week targeting informal settlement areas of Cemetery View and Plastic View in the East of Pretoria.

“The City of Tshwane has started stepping up by-law enforcement and environmental regulations enforcement in an and around Plastic View and Cemetery View informal settlements,” said Mayor Cilliers Brink in a video released to the media this past weekend.

“Noise pollution, air pollution and the unlawful sale of alcohol are very difficult to police, especially in informal areas, but to improve the quality of life of the residents who live in and around those communities, the City is determined that by-laws and environmental regulations will be enforced even if we are to do it in a progressive step-up approach,” he said.

“Peace, quiet, clean air, these are not nice-to-haves, but are essential in order for people to make productive contributions to society,” said Brink.

“It is impossible to formalise or relocate informal settlements in a matter of a few months but as the City we are determined to make life in and around the said communities safer and healthier,” he said.

According to a statement released by City of Tshwane Metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba last week, this by-law enforcement operation comes after the City of Tshwane Metro received numerous complaints of lawlessness in connection with the aforementioned informal settlement areas.

Be that as it may, the Metro is reluctant to reveal details of what actually happened during the said operation.

The following are questions which Tshwane Talks posed to the City of Tshwane on Monday 16 June 2024 and up until now the Metro hasn’t responded:

1. How were the by-laws actually enforced?

2. Were there any goods confiscated during the operation?

3. How many people were arrested?

4. What charges will they be facing in court or will they just be fined?

5. Is it true that residents living in the affluent areas next to Plastic View and Cemetery View are the ones who complained about noise pollution and crime and illegal dumping?

This latest by-law enforcement operation in Cemetery View and Plastic View, comes at a time when the City of Tshwane Metro is planning to use a court order to evict residents of the nearby informal settlement of Wolwespruit as they are occupying the area illegally.

According to City of Tshwane Metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo in a statement submitted to Tshwane Talks on 13 June 2024, the City of Tshwane will relocate residents of Cemetery View and Plastic View to a soon-to-be established “mixed” residential township to be known as Pretorius Park Extension 40 at Farm Garsfontein, on the East of Woodlands Shopping Mall, adding that the said piece of land is owned by the City of Tshwane Metro Municipality.

Responding to a query regarding an alternative place of abode for Wolwespruit residents who would be evicted from the area that they are presently occupying, Mashigo said the following:

“South Africans in Wolwespruit will be accommodated in the existing human settlement opportunities in Region 6.”

Mashigo didn’t indicate as to what will happen to the foreigners presently living in the soon-to-be demolished Wolwespruit informal settlement.

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