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Squatters' long wait for alternate housing

By unknown | Jun 03, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Ten months after their shacks were destroyed by fire, some 180 squatters at an informal settlement near Talana hostel in Tzaneen, Limpopo, have criticised the Tzaneen municipality for failing to provide them with alternate accommodation.

The squatters were left homeless after their shacks burned down in July last year.

The squatters had been fighting a bitter battle as they claim the municipality refuses to provide them with houses.

They claim the municipality plans to move them away from town because their present location is said to be a health hazard.

The squatters are now organising to meet President Thabo Mbeki and Provincial and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi about their plight.

The squatters say they have tried in vain to address the matter with the local mayor.

A spokesman for the squatters, Joyce Mabidilala, said they decided to meet the president and minister after attempts to get alternative accommodation failed to yield positive results.

She said all that the squatters wanted was alternative accommodation before they can move from the present area. The municipality had indicated that it was planning to develop the town.

Mabidilala accused the municipality of ignoring the needs of the people who voted them into office.

"The situation here is terrible," she said. "The area is not fit for human habitation as the municipality no longer provides services."

Meanwhile, acting municipal spokesman Odas Ngobeni said about 100 of the squatters would get RDP houses at Dan village near Nkowankowa.

Ngobeni urged those waiting for houses to be patient while their problems were being dealt with.


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