Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile gives a report-back at a community hall in Ennerdale Extension 1. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips
Johannesburg – Residents of Ennerdale and Finetown, south of Joburg, were given official feedback from the Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance, Paul Mashatile, on Sunday following weeks of violent protests in these areas.

Mashatile told residents that the government had started the process to address their service delivery grievances by ensuring that people in the south of Joburg were allocated land with title deeds and basic services.

Finetown resident Nicolene Trom said: “He must come and deliver to the people. We need land. We are crowded. At this point we don’t care about RDP houses.”

Finetown steering committee member Maseko Nkosana said: “We will be introducing the steering committee which will stand for Finetown; we are not under any political party or alliance. We are tired of being backyard dwellers, we want our own places.”

Residents of Ennerdale say they are tired of empty promises made by the government, which prompted a separation of meetings on Sunday morning.

After weeks of violent protests, Ennerdale and Finetown residents were given official feedback from Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile. Picture: Timothy Bernard

The Ennerdale community’s human settlement report from the MEC was slightly different to the Finetown community's.

Finetown steering committee spokesperson Vuyo Kambe gave the community a brief breakdown of what the process has been to get the attention of government officials. “Working together we are almost at the finish line. We woke up and blocked the roads. It was not easy.”

According to Mashatile: “Government has started the process of identifying land for development.”

Mashatile said there was land not far away from the current township, owned by the province, the city and private owners.

“Government is engaging with private owners to acquire the land, which has started. Residents of Finetown should expect feedback regarding land acquisition in July,” said Mashatile.

While residents were happy to hear the report on their grievances, Mashatile assured them that if the current land allocated for them was not enough, more would be found.

“While we give people their RDP houses, we will be giving others service sites so that they can build for themselves. The people are happy with that, saying ‘look, we will build for ourselves’. It is very clear that there are many who don’t want to wait for government to give them houses,” said Mashatile.

“We have agreed that there are many who applied in 1996. We need to prioritise them and the backyard dwellers, elderly, disabled people and also military veterans,” he said.

Mashatile continued his scheduled report-back, explaining that the action to solve their grievances had already started.

“There is a piece of land where we will be building over 700 houses in Ennerdale; that process has already started. So we have to brief them. There is also land around that area which they want us to develop,” said Mashatile.

The government had targeted Ennerdale extensions 2, 5, 6 and 9, which were the areas that should have developments commencing this year.

According to Mashatile, registrations for Ennerdale residents to apply for housing should start on June 12.

The Star