Metro police destroying houses built after people illegally occupying the land. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African NewsAgency
Metro police destroying houses built after people illegally occupying the land. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African NewsAgency

Confusion, criminality on housing developments in Tshwane

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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Pretoria - Tshwane does not have a deal with people or developers, or even private landowners, to sell stands to people to build houses of their choice with the promise that the municipality would install bulk services later.

As such, criminals were taking advantage of people desperate for housing and selling stands, creating the impression that once the homes had been built the City would bring bulk infrastructure, Chief of Staff at the City of Tshwane, Jordan Griffiths, said.

This comes as concerned residents revealed that they were confused because of many settlements forming, usually with one officer convincing people to buy stands for amounts that could range from R1 000 up to R30 000.

These prices could rise to above R50 000 and R70 000 when people had begun building houses.

The settlements look like they were taking off, but lacked tarred roads and bulk services like water and electricity.

However, some of these settlements have left some hopeful homeowners heartbroken, when their houses were demolished because of illegal occupation of land that belonged to private individuals and institutions.

One such settlement to be demolished was on land of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa.

Griffiths said people needed to be very careful.

Legit developers approached the City to present land they had or to purchase the land from the City, and then begin building houses with approved plans.

“These developers receive services because they have a Bulk Infrastructure Contribution agreement with the City. That is what people must ask for when people try to sell them stands.

“The City would not be part of a development that allows people to just build any kind of house they want.

“In fact, in some of these houses you may find about five to seven toilets.

“The moment you are just allowed to build any big house without approval from the City you must have concerns.”

Griffiths warned that even a legitimate landowner or a farmer cannot just start selling stands to people because that land is not recognised as a residential area.

“People must rather ask for a title deed because a legitimate developer who works with the City within the law can hand out a real title deed.”

The City realised that people needed houses and was working on formalisation of informal settlements.

But that was not an excuse for dodgy developers to sell stands to people, thinking the City would just formalise them.

People should take note of that before wasting their hard-earned money on dodgy developers.

Concerned purchaser Jabu Phakathi said: “I recently purchased a stand from one of these pop-up offices now

“The stand prices vary so much it’s hard to know if they are genuine or it is individuals exploiting desperate home seekers.

The prices start at as little as R1 500 in some areas yet in others the starting price is R30 000.

How do we know if these offices are legit and if it is safe to purchase these stands?”

Pretoria News

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