Home News Court to decide on houses for Kimberley family of 47

Court to decide on houses for Kimberley family of 47

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Controversy has surrounded the construction of the houses ever since the private sponsor, Afribiz, offered to build the family six houses.

THE CONSTRUCTION of six houses in Herlear for a Kimberley family of 47, who have been living in a single house in Colville, is now in the hands of the Northern Cape High Court.

A virtual court hearing has been scheduled for May 19.

This follows a court battle between the DA and the ANC over the land earmarked for the construction of the six houses behind the police flats in Herlear.

The DA blocked the construction process by instituting legal action, while the ANC has filed response documents in favour of continuing with the construction.

Controversy has surrounded the construction of the houses ever since the private sponsor, Afribiz, offered to build the family six houses.

Afribiz read about the family’s plight following a walkabout in the suburb by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the ANC’s January 8 anniversary celebrations in Kimberley.

It is believed that land for the construction of the houses was first identified in Greenpoint, but objections were raised by the community, who threatened to burn down the houses if they were built there.

Plots were later availed in Herlear and the foundations were already laid before the local community objected, arguing that the RDP houses would compromise the value of their middle-class houses.

The construction was later stopped after the DA questioned the allocation of the plots, alleging that they were allocated by the Office of the Executive Mayor, Patrick Mabilo. The value of the land was stated to be in the vicinity of R3 million.

Ward 28 councillor Herbert Japhta said that the construction of the six houses for the family was never discussed by the city council.

Afribiz has declined to comment on the matter and said it will wait on the outcome of the court application.

ANC councillor Shaine Griqua said they were confident that they would win the case and that construction would go ahead. He added that the slow progress of the case was concerning and he accused the DA of not walking the talk with their slogan of “One SA for All”.

“They should be ashamed of themselves for not being in the front line of appreciating such generosity instead of throwing sand in the donor’s eyes. This is a clear indication that the DA is categorising its members,” said Griqua.

Japhta meanwhile said that there had not been any building activity since construction was halted before the lockdown.

He added, however, that the party was monitoring the situation “because there seems to be an intention to continue with construction before the outcome of the court ruling”.

According to Japhta, some building material was delivered at the site recently.