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By Dimakatso Modipa

Member of the Residents Community Governance (RCG) Alfred Khazamola standing on an empty land in Danville, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa
Member of the Residents Community Governance (RCG) Alfred Khazamola standing on an empty land in Danville, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa

A lobby group known as Residents Community Governance (RCG) has condemned MMC for Utilities in the City of Tshwane Thabo Fosi for allegedly sending Tshwane Metro Police to Danville, Tshwane, so that they would evict homeless people from a piece of land that they are occupying at the moment.

According to a member of the RCG Alfred Khazamola, Fosi has actually overstepped the mark as the issue of evicting people from Danville does not fall under his jurisdiction but that of Human Settlements.

Another grievance pointed out by Khazamula against Fosi is that he allegedly threatened the Tshwane Metro Police with expulsion if they didn’t go to Danville to evict the landless people from the area without a court order.

A third allegation of overstepping the mark against Fosi is that the disputed piece of land actually belongs to the Gauteng Provincial Legislsture and not the City of Tshwane.

Khazamola told Tshwane Talks that their decision to advocate the occupation of the said land in Danville stems from his organisation’s engagements with the community regarding grievances related to the application of what is commonly known as Form C subsidy policy of 1996, and it emerged that two hundred and ten thousand people are still on the housing waiting list.

He said this is a transgression of the socio-conomic transformation policies if the government as many people on these house waiting lists presently live in backyard rooms or family houses where there is no privacy due to overcrowding.

He emphasised that the majority of people who find themselves under such circumstances were poor and obviously black.

Some of the structures that are erected at an empty land in Danville, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa
Some of the structures that are erected at an empty land in Danville, Tshwane photo by Dimakatso Modipa

He said the aim of his organisation, which was formed in 2018, is to eradicate landlessness among the black people so that they must have a land to on which they would reside.

Khazamola said he has a letter which was written to his organisation by the City of Tshwane, wherein the Metro acknowledges that the disputed land actually belongs to the Gauteng Provincial government.

He accused Fosi of having an interest in the land and that his actions are lawless and disappointing as they come from a person who should ge upholding the law instead of breaking it.

“When the Tshwane Metro Police arrived at Danville to remove the said piece of land, we as RGC asked them to produce a court order that gave them permission to evict the residents there, but since they couldn’t produce any court order, we turned them away,” he said.

“The Tshwane Metro Police admitted to us that they had been sent by MMC Thabo Fosi to demolish the homes of the residents,” explained Khazamola.

“All that the residents living in the aforesaid piece of land in Danville are saying is that the government must come and help them acquire land that they can live on legally without fear of eviction,” he said.

“We don’t need the government to use any money to build houses for us, because we are able to do so ourselves and we can also be able to purchase water and electricity, thus contributing to the coffers of the City of Tshwane,” said Khazamola.

“And we don’t want so-called developers either to come and build houses for us because once they are given a tender to build houses here in Danville, they would charge prices that are equal to those of mortgage houses, which our people can’t afford because they are unemployed and don’t have money,” said Khazamola.

He emphasised that MMC Fosi is seemingly aiming at a higher position in the DA by giving them a tough time over an issue that doesn’t concern him.

However, MMC Fosi is adamant that the said land belongs to the City of Tshwane.

“So, must I allow land invasion to take place and simply say I can’t enforce the law as this is not my department, that’s hogwash,” fumed Fosi.

“We are a lawful city, and by-laws will be enforced whether that’s my department or not,” he said.

“People who ate occupying the disputed piece of land are not residents of Danville, this as real residents of Danville are actually the ones who are calling for the removal of the illegal occupants,” he said as he questioned where the illegal occupiers of the land actually came from before they could settle on the aforesaid piece of land in Danville.

“If that piece of land gets occupied illegally, then then there will be theft and vandalism of infrastructure in the area and the property value of neighboring properties would drop, and they would affect my department of utilities.

Fosi reiterated that no one will be allowed to occupy the said land illegally and the illegal squatters would eventually be evicted from the area.

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