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Community ‘prepares’ land

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“The mosquitoes are eating us up alive.”

COMMUNITY members started clearing a large patch of ground in Homevalley yesterday to prepare the land for residential purposes.

The crowd of people, who were weeding the area with shovels yesterday, said they intend to erect shacks on the land once they receive the go-ahead.

“We are tired of waiting so we started to clear the area to demonstrate that we are in dire need. The land was approved for residential use and a waiting list of beneficiaries has been drawn up. We want to be ready to start building once everything has been finalised. We are tired of staying at the back of other people’s yards and want places of our own. We don’t want to die waiting for a plot. There is an 80-year-old grandmother who wishes to have a home of her own.”

They added that they are fed up of having to live with the stench of raw sewage that permeates the air and floods into their homes where they currently stay.

“The mosquitoes are eating us up alive.”

A Homevalley resident and clean-up co-ordinator, Mary Swarts, said that about 45 people from Bloemanda, Homevalley and Homevale extension were busy with operations yesterday.

“The community volunteered to clean the eyesore because it is dirty and overgrown with weeds. We are assisting the municipality by sacrificing our time and efforts to tidy up and to make the area safer. It seems as if the municipality has forgotten about us. We cannot continue living like pigs.”

She gave the reassurance that no shacks would be erected without council permission.

“Criminals use the high bushes to hide drugs, to commit crimes such as rape and to dump goods that are stolen from the houses,” said Swarts.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie stated that no permission was granted for the activities that took place on the large patch of ground in Homevalley yesterday.

“The area is opposite to where our new fire station was set up. The proper channels have not been followed as the area is not surveyed nor is it earmarked for any future development.”

Ward councillor Cliffie Lewis warned that any shanty that was erected on the land would be demolished.

“The land is not equipped with basic services. Municipal security was requested to disperse the crowd because the residents in the area can scarcely afford to pay for their own water and electricity bills, let alone provide people who are living in shacks with sanitation and water.”

He indicated that they would continue to monitor the situation today.

“The mayor also pronounced that illegal shacks are not allowed but the people do not want to listen.”