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Marikana - Mineworkers in Marikana have threatened to forcefully occupy housing units in Marikana Extension 2, the North West portfolio committee on local government and human settlement heard on Friday.

“Mine employees, particular from Lonmin are under the impression that these flats are built for them. They understand that they cannot occupy the RDP houses but, are saying if they are not given rooms in these flats, they are going to kick open the door and illegally occupy the building,” Eric Mondleki, a ward committee member responsible for infrastructure said.

“They know that this piece of land belongs to Lonmin and the mine [Lonmin] promised to develop it to build houses for them. Now that houses are being built they think the houses are built for them. This is a serious problem that needs to be resolved now.”

The portfolio committee conducted an oversight visit at the Marikana Housing Projects. The houses are built on the land donated by Lonmin.

The North West government has allocated R462 million for the construction of the housing units. The government aims to build a total of 2 658 dwellings, including 535 RDP houses, 2 089 subsidised rental flats and 34 finance linked individual subsidised programme (Flisp) houses.

Mondleki suggested to committee chairperson Motlalepule Rosho, that a meeting should be arranged where Lonmin would be present and the mine should be told to communicate with its employees that they would not just get houses because they work for the mines.

“The problem is that when the land was donated to the government, the workers were not formally told of this new development. Lonmin must communicate this to its workers.”

In Marikana West, a stone’s throw from Lonmin’s Karee mine, shacks could be seen in every yard.

“These are backyard dwellers, most are mineworkers. They rent a one-room shack and have no privacy….one can understand the frustration these workers face,” said Mondleki.

ANA