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Sol removes controversial shack

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Part of the fence around the community food garden was trampled to gain access to the garden when the shack was erected

THE CONTROVERSIAL shack in Ramora Street was demolished under a heavy security guard presence yesterday.

The shack, erected last week on a community food garden site, was removed by Sol Plaatje municipal workers yesterday morning after the owner failed to break it down by 11am.

The owner was given the opportunity to break down the shack himself after he tried to stop the municipal workers from carrying out the task.

The municipality is currently in the process of providing electricity to the Ramora Shacks and members of the community have speculated that this shack, as well as a number of others, were hastily erected in the area in the hope that they would also benefit from the electrification project.

Part of the fence around the community food garden was trampled to gain access to the garden when the shack was erected.

Yesterday a delegation from the municipality arrived at the garden, together with a team of police officers and Sol Plaatje Municipality security guards.

A municipal official also produced an approved land use plan indicating the existence of the food garden.

He confirmed that while a new plan had been proposed, it had not yet been approved. “So we are sticking to the old plan,” said the official.

This was after the owner threatened that there would be chaos if anyone touched the shack, claiming that the land had been approved for housing.

The owner, together with his friends, watched in disbelief as their brand-new zinc sheets and furniture were loaded onto a municipal truck.

The jubilant beneficiaries of the food garden, together with members of the community, said that the furniture was only placed inside the shack after the mayor had promised that the shack would be demolished.

The community said they would start cleaning the garden today in order to start planting vegetables.

“We will not engage in politics with these men, as they are bullies,” they said of the shack owner and his friends.

The executive mayor, Patrick Mabilo, earlier this week requested that a delegation representing all relevant stakeholders engage with him in order to map the way forward regarding another shack that has been in the garden for a while already.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie challenged the owner of the shack to produce proof of the plan that he claims was approved that the land be reserved for housing purposes.

“The fact that the shack was demolished by council because it had been erected illegally speaks volumes,” said Matsie.