The Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, MEC Paul Mashatile has told the community of Sicelo Shiceka informal settlements in the West Rand that government will look for land to relocate them.
This follows the community’s week long protest where they blockaded R59 for the lack of service delivery. They also alleged that their mayor did not fulfil the commitments made to them.
The community of Sicelo Shiceka has given Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and the Midvaal Local Municipality together with community leaders, only seven days to look for alternative land that will accommodate them.
The residents of Sicelo Shiceka are holding the government accountable for previously identifying nearby land for development, which turned out to be dolomitic.
MEC Mashatile said that government understands that the people of Sicelo Shiceka informal settlement want a land that will be serviced with all the amenities, such as water connection, electrification, sewer and roads, so they can build for themselves.
“By law, as a leader in government I am not allowed to allocate sites for people in dolomitic land especially after the geo-tech report has stated that the land is problematic. I will be in big trouble for putting people in danger if I do that,” said Mashatile.
The MEC said government officials together with selected community representatives will start work by, 05 August 2017 to look for the land and give feedback to the community by end of next week.
“If the land is private and suitable, government will buy it. We will be looking for the land that is nearby. But if the land cannot accommodate all of you, we will look elsewhere to ensure that everyone who qualifies is taken care of,” said Mashatile.
Community representative Samuel Mokwena, said that the meeting with MEC Mashatile was progressive and it also opened other lines of engagement with government.
“I am very happy that the community will now have direction and we know what to expect from government, unlike before when we were not engaging at all. All we want is serviced stands and we will build for ourselves,” said Mokwena.