RESIDENTS TAKE OVER LAND owned by council
Residents are continuing to build on land reserved for official development despite warnings from the Johannesburg Property Company.
About three hectares of land on Dynamo Road, Power Park in Orlando East, Soweto, has been illegally allocated to people by a man claiming to be helping the poor.
Sowetan has a list of 91 people who have registered to receive stands.
Early in 2007, the Power Park Residents Committee was formed and people paid the chairman, Moses Nkosi, R3500 for administration costs.
Thereafter, people submitted building plans to the City of Johannesburg. Some plans have been approved.
The amount for a plot varies from R14000 to R25000.
Nkosi, 53, of Pimville, Soweto, said they had applied to the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) to buy the land and were told they should ensure that applicants do not own any other property in the country.
"We instructed people to make affidavits and letters from the deeds office and they did," he said.
"We do not want to build shacks there, but are helping poor people who the government has failed."
But the city's building control stopped approving plans when it discovered that the process was fraudulent.
The land will be developed for residential housing by Katavi Ltd, that won the tender in 2003, through the Orlando Ekhaya Development Project.
Project manager Allan Dinnie said: "The land belongs to the City of Johannesburg. We will soon erect a fence on the site."
He said the city had warned Nkosi in March 2007 to stop selling land.
JPC has opened a case of fraud against Nkosi with the Kliptown police.
Police spokesman Felicity Radebe said: "We are investigating Nkosi and the docket is getting thicker.
"We want to get more evidence before making an arrest."
Gloria Molefe, a member of the residents committee, confirmed that some people had paid R3500. She also said they had been trying to meet JPC for the last three months, but failed.
"Seeing JPC did not want to speak to us, we decided to start with the construction to indicate our seriousness," said Molefe.
JPC spokesman Nisha Moodley said: "There is no record of a meeting being requested."
She said no one had been authorised to sell the land or build on it. She also said that the City was taking legal action against Nkosi.