Home News Lerato Park community members chase away ‘relocated’ residents

Lerato Park community members chase away ‘relocated’ residents

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“There are concerns from Lerato Park residents that the area is becoming overpopulated and that the Flafie Park residents will be given preference with regards to the provision of houses and services.”

File picture: Soraya Crowie

RESIDENTS of Flafie Park in Adam Nomakola Street will be relocated to Lerato Park, despite being chased away by local community members on Monday.

Lerato Park and Jacksonville ward councillor Paul Kok stated that he was not informed about the relocation process.

“The area does not have water or electricity, it is very dark at night. The area becomes flooded when it rains and residents of Lerato Park are not provided with reef soil to soak up the excess water,” said Kok.

“There are also concerns from Lerato Park residents that the area is becoming overpopulated and that the Flafie Park residents will be given preference with regards to the provision of houses and services.”

Kok pointed out that the relocation of people in the area needed to be prioritised ahead of those who were not residing there.

“We have more than 300 residents from the ‘swimming pool shacks’ in Jacksonville that are requesting their informal settlements be surveyed. The list of beneficiaries were submitted to the housing support centre for verification but we were told there is no money to appoint a surveyor.”

Kok added that there were over 300 people from Lerato Park whose names were on a waiting list to build shacks on the land.

“Residents of Lerato Park should have first been consulted, while they should be provided with electricity first.”

He was concerned that Falfie Park residents would be left homeless after they were chased away by Lerato Park community members.

“Their shacks were demolished ahead of the relocation process and this means they will have no shelter for the night.”

The chairperson of the human settlements committee at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Ronnie Morwe, stated that the 30 residents would be relocated to Lerato Park in phases.

“The first group of 10 people volunteered to relocate to Lerato Park with the assistance of the municipality on Monday. The remainder will be relocated at a later stage. The informal settlement is in the process of being developed for a housing development in the long run and electricity lines are currently being installed. No development can take place if the land is occupied,” said Morwe.

He advised the ward councillor to consult with the acting municipal manager to obtain an explanation and clear up the “misunderstanding”.

“This was a decision taken by council and was not a haphazard land grab.”

Morwe said communal taps and ablution blocks would be provided for the relocated residents in Lerato Park.

“They will be required to register on the national demand database and qualify if they wish to register for housing.”

He added that only three shacks had been demolished on site.

“The residents were temporarily moved back to Falfie Park but will definitely be relocated to Lerato Park in the near future. The municipality is on site to rebuild the shacks so that no one is left homeless.”

Morwe stated that no one had refused to relocate to Lerato Park.

“If there are any complaints a formal objection should be lodged at the municipality.”

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