Johannesburg - Fifty houses were handed over to their rightful owners at Soshanguve Extension 6 in Pretoria, the local government and housing department in Gauteng said on Thursday.
The houses were handed over on the spot on Tuesday to the legitimate beneficiaries after the department successfully evicted the illegal occupants, said spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa.
“At least 50 houses and 273 stands were illegally occupied, thus creating a delay in the continuation of the project in the area to build houses for beneficiaries,” said Motlhaolwa.
A partnership between the department, the City of Tshwane and the community established that some houses and stands were sold to illegal occupants and foreign nationals by people claiming to be community leaders.
MEC Ntombi Mekgwe welcomed the positive and quick response by the department in dealing with the crisis.
She said the issue had become a major problem for the department and committed that her department will continue to work hard to deal with such lawlessness.
“We cannot allow this to become a norm. We will continue to use all available avenues to ensure that illegal occupation does not happen under our watch,” said Mekgwe.
She said the move should be a warning to would-be illegal occupants.
“Beneficiaries have been waiting patiently for their houses and I urge others to follow the correct procedures and await their turn.”
The department had began with its preparations to evict the illegal occupants of the 273 stands to allow the contractor to continue with the construction of more houses. - Sapa