3 months ago
One of the shacks erected in Rust Ter Vaal, south of Joburg, where residents claim to have been waiting since 2011 for houses. INSET: Madoda Mkhombeni, leader of the Rust Ter Vaal Community Forum. Photo by Sifiso Jimta  ~ 

RESIDENTS of Rust Ter Vaal are tired of government’s empty promises.

So they invaded land allegedly earmarked for their housing.

Butit led to divisions in the area.

Daily Sun visited the kasi south of Joburg, where about 200 shacks have already been built.

On Wednesday evening, a group of men ransacked a number of shacks.

They are allegedly against the building of shacks.

Gun shots were heard and the men who had driven aggressively into the unfenced squatter camp fled for their lives when confronted.

Following the incident, a number of cases were opened by the divided community leaders.

Rust Ter Vaal Community Forum leader Madoda Mkhombeni said: “There was a plan to build 3 500 houses in the area. People have been waiting since 2011, but nothing is happening.

“A petition was sent to the provincial human settlements office to raise concerns on the matter of land. Our mandate was clear, we only need land, and houses will follow.”

Resident Susan Kortes said she had lived with her family her whole life.

“I was born in that house. My kids can’t grow up with me still living there. That’s the reason I moved onto this land we were promised,” she said.

Human Settlements spokesman Keith Khoza said no one was allowed to invade land, even if it had been set aside for housing.

“Invasion of land and property is a criminal act. It delays development, diverts resources meant for building houses and denies housing opportunities to qualifying and deserving beneficiaries.”

Khoza said the department was not aware of the petition.

“Community leaders were told people want to be moved to this land. The department indicated this cannot be done before the land is declared safe for housing,” he said.

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