Protests over land grabs in Hammanskraal
Pretoria - No one allocated stands to Trevor Monaise and other residents in Kanana Extension 3, Hammanskraal - they helped themselves and started building shacks illegally.
Monaise said he grabbed the land out of desperation to build a place for his child.
“We are six at home and I have a child; I would like my child to have a roof over his head.”
While they built their shacks, another group of irate residents was taking to the streets, angry that people had illegally occupied land earmarked for RDP housing.
The demonstrators marched to hand over a memorandum of their grievances to ward councillor Abram Marobane at Mandela Community Hall. They accused him of having engineered the land occupation by selling the stands.
But Marobane dismissed the claims, saying they were cheap politicking during the electioneering period. The protesters were going to be the beneficiaries of the imminent RDP housing project, he said.
Marobane promised to elevate their issues to Joshua Ngonyama, the MMC for housing and sustainable human settlement development in the city.
“I have made it clear to the protesters that my job does not entail allocating stands to people or removing them from the stands,” he said.
The councillor condemned the illegal occupation of the stands and distanced himself from the settlement.
“I don’t want to associate myself with the place. I will never set foot there,” he said.
But Monaise said: “The other settlements in Hammanskraal were started in the same way.”
The illegal land occupiers said they had grown impatient with the government, which was taking time to build them the RDP houses. They claimed to have applied for the houses a long time ago.
Xolani Skhosana said he had applied for an RDP house in 2013, but he was still waiting for it.
He said he knew about the plans to construct the houses on the land. However, he said he was frustrated because the housing project had been postponed several times.
Maria Malakane said she was there to assist her daughter to put up a shack.
She was still waiting for her house to be approved, she said.