SOME of the incomplete RDP houses that are being occupied by alleged illegal occupants in Olivehoutbosch in Centurion, who the Gauteng provincial government is threatening to evict. Residents say they decided to move into the houses last year after realising they were being sold illegally, a charge the human settlements department denies. 
 Nokuthula Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Occupants of RDP houses in Olivenhoutbosch, Centurion, are standing their ground despite the Gauteng provincial government threatening to evict them for occupying them illegally.

Premier David Makhura last week said the provincial government would deploy the high tactical unit, commonly known as AmaBeret, to deal decisively with the illegal occupants.

The Olivenhoutbosch residents this week said they had decided to occupy the houses in Extension 27 after realising that they were being sold illegally.

The Sunday Independent visited the area this week and found incomplete houses, which had neither running water nor electricity.

Mapula Makgatho, 35, said they had moved in last year because they were fed up with corruption.

“We didn’t care if the houses were completed or not,” she said.

“We agreed as a community to move in. We had to buy doors and windows ourselves.

“We heard that they (the government) will evict us but I am not going anywhere, I have a letter of approval.

“This is unfair, we are South Africans and we applied for houses, and the next thing they are being sold.”

Another resident, Lindiwe Mamkeli, said it was unfair that the houses were being sold even though they were the rightful beneficiaries.

“I am not scared of the eviction because I know I applied and qualified. We moved in because everyone was fighting for these houses,” said the 42-year-old.

Another occupant, Shalow Mokwena, said she was tired of having to pay rent while she was still applying for a house.

“I moved in because I qualify. I have a letter of approval. I cannot allow anyone to sell my house while I am still alive. I am not going anywhere even if the government wants to evict us,” she said.

However, Agnes Mokwaledi, who lives in a nearby informal settlement, said the illegal occupations were unfair as she had applied for a house.

“I have also applied and I am waiting for officials to allocate me a house,” she said.

”I understand that I have no right to move into a house unless the authorities tell me to do so. This is crime.”

Department of Human Settlements spokesperson Keith Khoza denied that houses were being sold illegally

“These are just allegations,” he said. “When we ask the residents to come forward with information, they don’t provide anything.

“We sent our investigative team but they (residents) couldn’t provide anything. These houses have rightful beneficiaries.”

Makhura last week said the government would verify who the rightful beneficiaries of the houses were and deal with unauthorised occupants. 

He added that he was aware that a group of people had taken the department to court in a bid to delay the process of verification of rightful occupants and eviction of illegal occupants.

“Government cannot be intimidated by thugs,” he said. “The court ruled in favour of the government evicting people who had invaded the houses.”

Last week, a woman was arrested for fraudulently obtaining an RDP house in Mokgoba Village in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni.

Executive mayor Mzwandile Masina said the woman was arrested by an anti-housing corruption task team that had been set up after numerous complaints of corruption in the awarding of the houses.

Sunday Independent