Joint task team set up, cops to ‘address’ Lenasia land invasions

Lenasia South residents are protesting against an escalation in illegal land grabs in the area, saying the occupiers are devaluing their properties, 19 July 2019. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi / African News Agency (ANA)

Other matters agreed upon included ensuring that the South African Police Services urgently intervened to address further illegal invasions.

Gauteng’s MEC for human settlements, urban planning and cooperative governance, Lebogang Maile, and the executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, on Wednesday agreed to immediately form an intergovernmental task team to address the volatility in Lenasia.

The spokesperson for Maile, Castro Ngobese, said the task team would consist of officials from the province and the city and would begin operations on Wednesday.

“The meeting took place against the backdrop of the volatile situation in the region, as a result of the reported land invasions,” Ngobese said.

“The meeting agreed that the situation in Lenasia requires urgent attention. Joint planning, backed by financial commitments, between the Province and City is necessary to bring real solutions to the people of Lenasia, and indeed, the region.”

Lenasia residents have been protesting for days against illegal land invasions.

Ngobese said that during the engagements, a shared understanding was discussed to ensure that a comprehensive response was developed.

“The meeting also stressed the need for both the City and Province to work together to formulate a costed, solution-driven plan of intervention within the area,” he said.

Ngobese said the task team was mandated, within the next week, to table a costed and detailed report to MEC Maile, Gauteng premier David Makhura and mayor Mashaba, outlining concrete interventions to take place in the area.

He said other matters that were agreed upon included ensuring that the South African Police Services (SAPS) urgently intervened to address further illegal invasions.

This would be done in conjunction with investigative and intelligence gathering functions.

The city and provincial department of human settlements, with assistance from the department of home affairs, conducted an audit of illegally occupied structures in the area to determine who qualified for housing.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of a healthy and holistic relationship which will see the development of an approach between provincial and local government in addressing land invasions and historic landlessness within the City.”

African News Agency

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