Illegally demolished Atteridgeville home to be rebuilt - Lebogang Maile
Seeing is believing is the stance the Mhlahla family has adopted, as a promise is made to rebuild their house which was illegally demolished by the Red Ants.
The Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, made the undertaking during a visit to the family in Atteridgeville on Saturday morning.
The Mhlahla family’s home was demolished in 2017 and they have been fighting since then to get help in the matter as they were legally on the land.
They got their chance to air their grievances when the MEC was in Saulsville during the week.
The family’s spokesperson, Lindi Mhlahla, said they had also approached the public protector.
She said they had been affected badly by the loss of their home.
“This has been dragging on for a long time. In some meetings the officials came unprepared and sent us from pillar to post, and couldn’t determine if we fell under the court order to raze the houses.
“I had to console my parents. Healthwise and emotionally they have been affected.
“Clearly, those who have rights are those who have money to pursue things legally, but we do not matter.”
She said they deserved an apology.
“Looking for solutions, we even approached the various stakeholders but no one wanted to take accountability for the house that was demolished.
“Over the years that have passed, while we were fighting some days I had to leave work to go to different places to get assistance. We borrowed money to build the house and now we are paying for a structure that is no longer standing.”
She said that in 2019 there was an agreement to rebuild the house, but there had been no action. “If we had not rushed to confront Maile we would still not have been assisted.
“We have been promised help for a long time, so we will believe it when we see it.”
Maile has apologised to the family.
He said he had since directed departmental officials to prioritise the reconstruction of the house.
He said it was wrong for government officials to have delayed assisting the family in rebuilding it.
He added that disciplinary action would be taken against the officials who had delayed resolving the matter.
“We will also look to get the plans speedily approved and through a public-private partnership hopefully build the house within three to four weeks,” said Maile.