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New land grabbers move in

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The land that the old age home claims belongs to it, is about 3 500 hectares and the centre is still apparently awaiting the title deed for the land

WHILE people have started to erect shacks at Chris Hani Park’s newly approved settlement dubbed ‘Scandal’, a new group of people have started to invade the “unapproved” land on the opposite side of the road.

This land apparently belongs to a nearby old age home, Bophelong Care Centre, which reportedly bought the land from the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

The land that the old age home claims belongs to it, is about 3 500 hectares and the centre is still apparently awaiting the title deed for the land.

The residents occupying the “approved” section of land, now known as ‘Scandal’, have distanced themselves from the land grabbers on the opposite side of the road.

After recently receiving approval from the Sol Plaatje housing committee to erect shacks on the land on a temporary basis, after many years of engagement, the community members agreed at a meeting on Thursday to start erecting their shacks on Saturday.

“We were granted permission to build on this land and that is what we are doing. We, however, planned to also request for that piece of land (on the other side of the road) at a later stage because we do not encourage illegal land grabbing. That is exactly why we did not even build on this land before we were granted permission. We followed procedures and worked with the Sol Plaatje Municipality,” said a spokesperson for the community, Lawrence Mkhwanazi.

He revealed that sparks flew among the residents when two vans full of municipal security guards arrived in the area and told them to break down their shacks.

“We sent them back to go and call whoever had sent them to stop us. There is no turning back now! But after realising that those people across the road were also erecting shacks, I believe that the municipal security guards had approached the wrong group of people,” said Mkhwanazi.

The chairperson of the human settlement and housing committee at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Ronnie Morwe, could not be contacted for comment.