National 9.9.2016 01:20 pm

Mashaba says ANC is behind Joburg land grabs

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and Housing MMC Mzobanzi Ntuli brief media on illegal land occupations in the city.

City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and Housing MMC Mzobanzi Ntuli brief media on illegal land occupations in the city.

He said the party’s conduct did not serve in the best interests of the poor it had ‘ignored’ for years.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on Friday accused the ANC of orchestrating illegal land occupations across the city to destabilise the new administration.

“Their conduct is anti-poor, illegal and does not have the best interests of those who have been ignored by the ANC for years at heart. Let us not use our people for political gain; we are compromising their dignity,” Mashaba told reporters in a media briefing.

“This is made worse by the lack of transparency in the housing lists under the previous administration, which led to suspicion of corruption.”

He said there had been evidence of the ANC being behind illegal land occupations in Orange Farm, where the metro police department had to be called in to evict people.

“We have bylaws that need to be respected. We cannot afford to live in a city where people occupy land and where there is no rule of law. We expect everyone to respect the rule of law.”

Mashaba said some Johannesburg residents had been on the housing waiting list since 1996. The city would finalise the waiting list within the next 90 days and also do an audit of all land available in Johannesburg, he said.

Mashaba’s party, the Democratic Alliance, was assisted by the Economic Freedom Fighters to take over in Johannesburg and unseat the ANC after this year’s local government elections. The red berets were on record making public calls urging communities to occupy vacant land, which went against the DA’s policies.

Mashaba called for patience from residents awaiting houses, and argued that everyone should respect the law.

“We cannot accept illegal land invasions … people invade land but then that land is not serviced – what should happen? Whether you are DA, EFF or ANC, we are appealing to our people to not be used for wrong political agendas,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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