November 9, 2015

#BlackViolenceContinuesInSA: Protest turns violent in Centurion

Olievenhoutbosch residents up in arms over Mooiplaas relocation

Twitter image of protest.

The protest led to the closure of the R55 and some damage to property was reported.

Read Olievenhoutbosch does not want Mooiplaas residents

Sanco’s Ward 77 chairperson Kleinbooi Aphane said, “We will not allow the City of Tshwane to go back on the agreement we made with them that people from Mooiplaats should be moved to Ext 60, not Ext 27 [which is for people from Olievenhoutbosch]. Also, we agreed that with Ext 60, people from Olievenhoutbosch would get first preference to be moved there before moving all people from Mooiplaats.”

Due to squatter problems, in May 1995 the Town Planning Department submitted a comprehensive report with a proposal on the provision of affordable housing to the city council. After protracted discussions, the City acquired portions of land in Olievenhoutbosch extension 27 and 42 with a development potential of about 6 000 units with bulk sewage and water services. Medium to low-income housing will be made available, including fully subsidized houses, rental housing units and bonded houses financed through various housing schemes and institutions.

In a statement, Blessing Manale, the mayoral spokesperson for the City of Tshwane said the City regretted that its plans to relocate Mooiplaats residents to a new permanent home in Olievenhoutbosch extensions 27 and 42 had to be temporarily suspended due to the protest.

“The decision to relocate the Mooiplaats informal settlement is due to the fact that the area they are in is privately owned, dolomitic and is close to a privately owned landfill site posing serious health risks for the community,” explained Manale.

According to the City, in terms of its relocation plans, 759 families will be moved to permanent, serviced stands in Olievenhoutbosch Ext 60 with all their belongings. The City has enlisted the services of a service provider to dismantle, transport and rebuild the shacks at the new site.

The second phase of the relocation will be a further 840 families from the Mooiplaats and Choba informal settlements to houses in Olievenhoutbosch Ext 27. This process will only begin once the houses are completed and occupation certificates are issued by the City. Currently, the houses are being built by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and are at various stages of completion

Executive Mayor of Tshwane, councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said despite the temporary setback due to the protest, the City was pleased that meaningful engagements with all stakeholders with a common development objective of accelerating the city council’s efforts to provide decent housing opportunities and security of tenure to citizens had borne fruit.

“We trust that the affected Mooiplaats families will revel at their new homes and settle in with no trouble,” he said.

“Residents at Olievenhoutbosch are encouraged to welcome their neighbours to facilitate peaceful co-existence as brothers and sisters as we build a better Tshwane for all.”

Ramokgopa and community leaders of Olievenhoutbosch jointly condemned the destruction of property and called for dialogue to address the genuine concerns about the massive relocation to Olievenhoutbosch.

The protest also affected taxi routes leading to Midrand. Thabisile Nkomazana, a domestic worker who lives in Diepsloot said, “I had to take taxis to Boulders taxi rank today to connect to Noordwyk. Taxi drivers told us there will be no taxis coming from Diesploot past the R55 to Noordwyk for the whole week.”

The city council will meet with Olievenhoutbosch residents on 10 November at 6pm.

Councillor for Ward 77 Cedric Tsila could not be reached for comment. http://midrandreporter.co.za/140641/olievenhoutbosch-residents-up-in-arms-over-mooiplaas-relocation/

Also read:

Protest turns violent in Centurion

Police had to use rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of Olievenhoutbosch residents on Monday morning.
This comes after a protest action turned violent on the R55 and N14 resulting in road closures.
“We advise motorists to not attempt to use the road. They should take alternative routes to avoid the protest,” said Tshwane metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba.
He said that the cause of the protest is yet to be determined but allegedly the protest developed due to the relocation of Mooiplaats residents to the Olievenhoutbosch area.
Police and metro police are monitoring the situation.
More details on the story will follow soon.
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