South Africa 13.10.2017 06:10 am

Tshwane is eating into deeds backlog

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga is seen greeting a passer-by during an outing to speak with informal traders in the CBD, 5 September 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga is seen greeting a passer-by during an outing to speak with informal traders in the CBD, 5 September 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

City says unlawful occupation of land brings unfairness to housing process.

The City of Tshwane’s housing department is well on its way in settling issues of title deeds and land invasion. Thousands of people have received title deeds, while scores of illegally erected structures were demolished.

A total of 2 804 families have received title deeds since July this year, almost at the halfway mark to the targeted 6 000 title deeds to be handed over in the 2017-18 financial year.

These were in Atteridgeville, Olievenhoutbosch, Winterveldt, Cullinan and, recently, Mamelodi, where 705 residents received their title deeds last month.

“We’ve almost reached the halfway point within the first quarter of the 2017-18 year, which started in July. The process to transfer more title deeds is still underway,” mayoral spokesperson Sam Mgobozi said yesterday.

In the first quarter of the financial year, the DA-led multiparty administration demolished 890 unlawful structures after receiving 1 662 complaints of land invasion since July.

The figure contributes to the total 3 161 demolished structures since January, a large drop from the total 4 406 land invasion complaints throughout the city.

“In so doing, we have identified land parcels to move our residents, either to temporary serviced stands or permit dwellings, pursuant to legislation governing evictions. Specifically, between January and June 2017, 2 744 complaints of land invasions were attended to and 2 271 of those structures demolished.”

But not all land invasions could be dealt with as some of the land was owned by other spheres of government or private owners, complicating the process, Mgobozi explained.

He said the unlawful occupation of land only aggravated hardship down the line as it distorted the housing backlog, bringing unfairness to those who have patiently waited since as far as back as 1998.

“The spate of land invasions and the violent nature in which they manifest is to be condemned. As such, we call on residents not to allow themselves to be used as political pawns for an ANC in Tshwane that cannot accept its electoral defeat,” said Mgobozi.

“We encourage them to work together with the new administration to ensure that all eligible people get access to the housing they require, and not just the connected few.” – rorisangk@citizen.co.za

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