Southern Palace's Barny Mangwane, Transnet's Gert de Beer and Southern Palace's Bongani Caga at the announcement of the preferred bidder for the 20-year concession for the construction of the OR Tambo Springs Intermodal Terminal. Wednesday's announcement came amid an uproar from the community of Oranjehof in Springs where residents said they lived in hazardous homes that Transnet owned and from which it collects rental money. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA)
Anger has engulfed the community of Springs living in dilapidated Transnet housing as the state-owned entity announced a R2.5 billion 20-year logistics development in the area.

On Wednesday in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Transnet unveiled its preferred bidder to construct the Tambo Springs Intermodal Terminal, which the parastatal said would combine “direct terminal handling facilities as well as back-of-terminal property development and related value-add logistics services and activities”.

However, the announcement came amid an uproar from the community of Oranjehof in Springs where residents said they lived in hazardous homes that Transnet owned and from which it collects rental money. Some of the tenants had parents who worked for Transnet.

The Star visited the area and found - among the derelict houses with gaping cracks and holes - children playing in filth surrounded by a suffocating smell from the leaking sewerage pipes.

In February, Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe confirmed that the SOE had issued eviction notices to people staying in those houses due to alleged non-payment of rent and municipal services, among other things.

But community members who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “We have leases for these houses but don’t know where to pay our rent because the account numbers are all different, while the houses look the same.

“We spend our own money to renovate these houses and put in security walls, but we can’t fix the houses fully because we don’t own them and Transnet doesn’t seem interested in handing the homes over to us.”

@khayakoko88

The Star