Olivenhoutbosch housing development in extension 2. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA
THE EFF in Gauteng has vowed to make Olievenhoutbosch ungovernable if both the City of Tshwane and the provincial Department of Human Settlements do not stop making threats to evict unlawful occupants of RDP houses in Extension 27.

The party’s tough stance was made amid a violent protest, which rocked the area on Friday, with residents barricading the R55 route with burning tyres and rocks.

Angry protesters were embroiled in running battles with police, who fired rubber bullets to disperse them.

Protesters, on the other hand, retaliated by pelting police with stones.

They set alight two vehicles after their drivers tried to force their way through the barricaded roads.

Taxis and other modes of public transport halted operations, leaving commuters stranded. The illegal occupants of more than 800 RDP houses said they did not want to be removed from the houses.

Instead, they demanded the government provide them with services such as water and electricity.

EFF leader Peter Seolela said: “We now want electricity and water. We have been for more than seven months in the houses. People cannot live without water and electricity.”

He said there were 888 houses which were unlawfully occupied last year.

“But remember that each and every house has families of more than two people. So there are many people who are affected by threats to evict them,” he said.

In a media statement, the party’s provincial structure warned both mayor Solly Msimanga and MEC Uhuru Moila to desist from making threats to evict people.

The party said Moila “must stop wasting taxpayers’ monies on court processes” to get an eviction order to put communities out in the cold.

“The executive mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, is also warned that if he does not commence the electrification water and sanitation infrastructure installation process, the community of Olievenhoutbosch will lose its patience with his laziness, arrogance and incompetence,” they said.

The party said it wanted a people-focused government to attend to the needs to black families and communities.

“If the ANC government continues to antagonise our people in Olievenhoutbosch, we can only promise to make the entire area ungovernable.”

MMC for Human Settlements Mandla Nkomo said Moila must accept full responsibility for community protests.

“The cause of the protests is an eviction order, granted to the Gauteng Human Settlements Department to remove illegal occupiers of RDP housing units in Olievenhoutbosch Extension 27.

"The order was granted after more than 800 incomplete units were unlawfully invaded last year,” he said.

The department obtained an eviction order in May this year, but the community applied to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to have it suspended. The application was dismissed last Monday.

Nkomo said the plan was to allocate completed houses to approved families living in Olievenhoutbosch, Choba and Mooiplaats informal settlements.

“The City’s attempt to have this matter resolved and have a fair split allocation among the three communities was subsequently and unilaterally reversed by provincial human settlements, which led to an impasse in allocation of these houses. This was further aggravated by the province’s inability to manage and secure the project from inception to completion within reasonable time frames,” he said.

He said he would continue to engage the provincial government until both parties could reach lasting solutions.