Atteridgeville residents in fresh RDP demand
Pretoria - Residents of Atteridgeville West are refusing to back down on their demand to have their RDP houses given back to them and have taken to the streets again to deliver a third memorandum to the municipal offices.
The community has moved from pillar to post searching for someone to rectify the alleged corruption and maladministration which led to RDP houses originally allocated to them being sold to other people.
Community police forum (CPF) chairman Jack Phahlane said they had been trying in vain to get the police and municipal officials to sort out the mess.
“We came to the municipality to deliver our first note and they ignored us. We tried the police here in Atteridgeville and they too refused to help us. Even after we went to the Union Buildings they promised to get back to us in 14 days but they have still not responded,” he said.
Phahlane said it had reached a point where they were even considering removing the illegal occupants themselves, because no one was helping them and people had been waiting from 1996 for houses, only to have them sold to other people.
The residents marched earlier this year after they had discovered a black plastic bag filled with 22 fraudulent IDs and other housing documents.
Crime Prevention Forum member Martin Ngubane said they still had the documents with them and were reluctant to part with them as they might be destroyed.
Members blocked the roads holding placards reading: “We want our houses, RDPs are not for sale.” They sang songs mocking Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
A number of the protesters were reluctant to talk to the media, saying they feared victimisation.
One community member, Mmutle Phetlhe, said he had a similar problem in 2009 when a stand that was supposed to be allocated to his grandmother was given to someone else. Phetlhe said they struggled to have the man removed until they involved the CPF and the police.
“When the police asked the man to produce the relevant documents, he produced identical copies of my particulars, but they removed him because he didn’t even know who that was,” said Phetlhe.
Besides corruption relating to RDP houses, the residents also want unoccupied land in Atteridgeville west to be allocated to residents from the area and informal settlements and for the SAPS to focus on more serious crimes so residents can feel safe in their communities.
City of Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba said the issue had been dealt with on several occasions and the community petitions had been forwarded to the Speaker’s office.
“We are waiting for the community to provide us with the evidence so that necessary steps can be taken against implicated officials,” he said.