illegal camp gets the boot

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

Madlayi, a construction company that set up an illegal campsite in Meadowlands, Soweto, has been sent packing.

The company, which claimed to be sub-contracted to another company to do work for the Gautrain, established an illegal informal settlement in a residential area without following procedure.

The company's owners dumped their workers, many from as far as Lesotho, at the small piece of land between Letsibogo High School and Tumelo Primary School earlier this month.

This was in contravention of municipal health and environmental bylaws. These include not putting up water infrastructure such as taps and drainage systems; failure to provide waste disposal dustbins; not supplying workers with stoves for cooking, which could result in workers starting fires in the yard; and providing only four chemical toilets for use by 120 workers.

The company had also established a campsite in the overgrown veld.

Health and environmental inspector Hosea Nchabeleng said yesterday they had to force the company out of the area because it had failed to comply with bylaws.

Madlayi co-owner Eugene Letlape dismissed as nonsense reports that they were forced to leave.

"We had already finished our work. Some of the guys were already out of the camp," Letlape said.