The proposed great “Tshwane Wall” as a solution to ongoing clashes was not an actual physical structure, executive mayor Solly Msimanga said. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - The great “Tshwane Wall” proposed for Mahube Valley in Mamelodi as a solution to ongoing clashes between formal home owners and informal settlement residents was not an actual physical structure, executive mayor Solly Msimanga said on Monday.

Msimanga made an about-turn on the controversial wall he proposed last week, which has already been likened by social and political commentators to the infamous Berlin Wall in Germany and Trump's proposed Mexican wall.

But he has now quashed any ideas of a brick-and-cement structure to separate the warring communities.

It was hypothetical, he said, almost a week after saying a wall was the only solution to the problems in that area, and receiving a lot of criticism.

Msimanga’s spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said: “It was effectively the mayor acknowledging that there needs to be a lasting solution to the violence, which is ancillary to the wall. It was just an example to illustrate that we need a lasting solution to the tensions. It is more of a buffer than a literal wall he was seeking to communicate lasting solutions.”

Msimanga visited Mahube Valley during a day of tension last week, where residents paying bonds on their houses and squatters from across the road had battled it out all night over increased utility bills caused by illegal connections.

The formal residents accused the squatters of encroaching on their space, connecting themselves to their electricity and water grid, and leaving them with exorbitant bills to pay.

Pretoria News