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South Africa: Good Hope Settlement in Germiston is Ready to Occupy if We Continue to be Ignored

South Africa: Our movement now has five branches on the East Rand in Gauteng. We will be launching a sixth branch soon.

Submitted to Enough is Enough. Press release by Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

South Africa: Good Hope Settlement in Germiston is Ready to Occupy if We Continue to be Ignore

Our movement now has five branches on the East Rand in Gauteng. We will be launching a sixth branch soon.
The Good Hope Settlement in Germiston is now twenty-two years old. Some people have lived their whole lives in the settlement waiting for the promises of land and housing to be fulfilled.
On the 8th of November last year residents of the Good Hope Settlement attended the Land Summit called by Gauteng MEC of Human Settlements Paul Mashatile. He told us that we must identity available land and that his Department would then sit and talk with us with a view to acquiring that land. The media report on the Land Summit said that: 

Gauteng MEC of human settlements Paul Mashatile says the programme of giving people serviced stands where they can build for themselves will help address the problem of land invasion in the province.

 

Speaking at a media briefing during a land summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday‚ Mashatile said the allocation of serviced stands is an initiative to be run concurrently with other housing initiatives like RDP and mixed housing developments. 


Mashatile called the summit to present his plan on serviced stands and get input from representatives of communities in Gauteng. He said giving people land would ease the pressure of providing a fully built house from government by sharing the responsibilities with people building their houses. 


This‚ he added‚ would help curb land invasions. “I believe this approach will help us prevent land invasion because communities will see that we have a plan. That is why we invited community leaders to the summit.

We had already identified the available land that will be good for us as part of our programme of grassroots urban planning. After the Land Summit the MEC’s office mandated a delegation to work with us. On 22 November we met with people from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements. Officials visited the land that we have identified. The geo-tech has been done and it has been confirmed that the land is good for housing.
However the officials have all gone silent now. The Province says that the problem is the Municipality. We have contacted Paul Mashatile directly but he has not responded to us.
We have been waiting for land and housing for twenty-two years. We have tried to engage the government at different levels but now all we are getting are delays, excuses and silence. 
Everyone is ready to occupy now. If we do not get clarity on a process to access the land that we have identified by 15 March we will occupy that land.

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