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More land invasions

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Community members in Homelite pegged land in Sardine Road after the municipality allocated land to three vulnerable families in the area.

FURTHER land invasions are looming in the city as community members in Homelite plan to grab land in the suburb instead of moving to land that has been allocated to them in Roodepan and Lerato Park.

This was the sentiment expressed by community members yesterday after at least three vulnerable families were earmarked to benefit from Sol Plaatje Municipality’s special housing programme on the weekend.

One of the vulnerable families was given a plot of land by the municipality in Sardine Street in Homelite, where her shack was erected on Saturday.

Angry community members said yesterday, however, that they had been waiting for answers from the municipality about whether they could also erect shacks on the land.

Some had already started penning plots for themselves over the weekend and said yesterday that they intended to grab the land.

According to the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the plot that they allocated to the vulnerable family, which is headed by Mina Roy, was the only vacant one.

Roy has four children, one of whom is disabled while one is a foster child.

The area adjacent to the plot is believed to belong to De Beers and is not earmarked for housing purposes.

The community feels that it is unfair that the family is allowed to build on the land while they are prohibited from erecting their shacks there.

Officials from the municipality had to intervene yesterday and warned the community members that they were grabbing the land at their own risk.

Owen Khuduga, from the municipality, warned them that any shacks erected on the land would be demolished by the municipality as they would be trespassing.

The municipal team urged the community members to rather opt for the vacant land earmarked for housing in Roodepan and Lerato Park.

Khuduga explained that the identified families had special needs as they had disabled children.

They will soon get services like water and electricity before filling in a subsidy form to get a house.

Roy was over the moon and said yesterday that she was blessed to have her own place to stay.

She says she has been waiting to get her own place since 2015 and has been working with social workers.

“I have been staying in the backyard of my in-laws under unbearable conditions. We were overcrowded and it was unsafe for the children to play outside as there were always strange people hanging around in front of the house smoking drugs,” she explained.

“My children were always locked up inside the shack. I also have a little one who I took in after my sister passed away. The baby girl was only four months old.”

Roy said that she is relieved that her children will now be free to play and run around at their own home.