Category Archives: Citizen

Jukskei River dwellers say their plight is being ignored,1,22

Citizen 20/1/06

Jukskei River dwellers say their plight is being ignored


ALEXANDRA – Setjwetla squatter camp resident, Release Matladi, 28, feels
authorities are ignoring the squatters’ plight.

Her home was spared when the bank of the Jukskei River collapsed last week
but the danger is far from over. She has erected a makeshift fence to keep
her children from falling over the edge onto what remains of her neighbour’s
house at the bottom of the ravine.
Shouts rang out when the bank started to collapse and shacks toppled over,
spilling their contents into the river.

No one was injured but eight families lost their homes.

Eric Simango was one of those who lost everything he owns. Like many others
he was not at home at the time.

He came back to the site on Monday to save what he could. “I don’t know what
I am going to do,” he said.

His feelings were echoed by Matladi says “taps don’t have water, we don’t
have clean toilets and the river is making our children sick. We don’t have
dustbins so we throw rubbish into the river. We simply don’t have any other

The residents’ complaints angered Julian Baskin, director of the Alex
Renewal Project.
“Residents were evacuated and despite what residents claim, the shacks in
danger did not fall into the river, they were demolished.

“Emergency workers worked through the night to make sure no one fell in,” he
He also strongly denied the shortage of clean water.

‘Culture of compliance’ needed to stop shack building,1,22

‘Culture of compliance’ needed to stop shack building
PARLIAMENT – A “culture of compliance” was needed to stop homeless people erecting shacks, Parliament’s finance select committee heard on Monday.
“What is happening now is that anybody just builds anything, anywhere,” Western Cape housing MEC Richard Dyantyi said. “We need to (instill) a culture of compliance.”
Dyantyi told the committee that urbanisation and the eviction of labourers by struggling farmers was contributing to the province’s shack dwelling problem and adding to the low-cost housing backlog.
The problem of fires and floods in shack areas presented the government with a daunting challenge.
“We have people living in disaster areas waiting to happen,” Dyantyi said.
The province was engaged in efforts to relocate people living in “stressful areas” to vacant land, but this involved thousands of people and was not an easy task, he told the committee.
“One of our challenges is that where we are able to clear a space and relocate people, the next day the same space is reoccupied.”
Limpopo housing MEC Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said a booming mining industry was contributing to a mushrooming of shacks in some areas in her province.
This was aggravated by an agreement between mining houses and the National Union of Mineworkers in terms of which labourers received monthly living-out allowances rather than hostel accommodation.
The province was engaged in a project, in co-operation with mining houses, to build houses funded by pooling labourers’ allowances and the government’s housing grant.
A thousand such units, larger than ordinary RDP houses, should be completed this financial year, Nkoana-Mashabane told the committee.
She said municipalities needed to pass bylaws to make it illegal to put up shacks anywhere.