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Millions of rand worth of bricks, cables being stolen from housing development site

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Councillor believes that if the plots are occupied, incidents of theft would be reduced.

PAVING and cables, estimated to amount to millions of rand, are being stolen at the back of the Lerato Park Housing Development centre. 

A video that was circulated on social media on Saturday, April 26 showed a suspect being instructed to return bricks, which he was transporting in a shopping trolley, that were meant to pave a road in Lerato Park. 

Ward councillor Paul Kok indicated that cable theft was rife in the area. 

“Millions of rand worth of state resources are going to waste and I do not have the capacity or resources to police the area,” said Kok. 

“I have made several requests to the Sol Plaatje Municipality and the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) to speed up the process to hand over the serviced sites to qualifying beneficiaries. The erven are earmarked for occupation by middle-income groups through the FLISP (Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme) subsidy scheme. There is a long waiting list of people wanting to access housing.” 

Kok believed that if the plots were occupied it would reduce incidents of theft.

Northern Cape Coghsta spokesperson Xhanti Teki pointed out on Monday that the theft of cables and bricks, allocated to pave roads, was detrimental to the housing project.

“Theft is regressive in construction as it delays the delivery of houses to communities. The municipality has to ensure that tighter and stricter security measures are in place in order to avert this,” said Teki.

He stated that the department had developed and handed over the land in question to the Sol Plaatje Municipality. 

“The department has no jurisdiction on the land disposal policy of the municipality. It is the prerogative of the municipality to make a determination on matters relating to the land in question. The municipal council is better positioned to make a pronouncement on land issues,” said Teki.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie explained that while the land at the Lerato Park development project site belonged to the municipality, Coghsta was responsible for the construction of the houses and the verification of beneficiaries.