Squatters get RDP houses at last

ABOUT 100 squatters from Tzaneen, whose 180 shacks were destroyed by fire three years ago, have been allocated RDP houses.

ABOUT 100 squatters from Tzaneen, whose 180 shacks were destroyed by fire three years ago, have been allocated RDP houses.

This will end years of tension between the Tzaneen municipality and the squatters from the Talana informal settlement, which resulted in the two parties dragging each other to the law courts.

Tensions between the two started in July 2007 after the municipality refused to help the squatters who became homeless after their shacks were ravaged by fire.

The municipality had said the squatters would not be provided with houses in the informal settlement because the area was not suitable for human habitation.

According to head of the housing unit in the Greater Tzaneen municipality, Handswell Phakula, not all the squatters have got houses.

He said the houses were given to those who had never benefited from the government in the form of housing elsewhere in the country.

Phakula said most of the squatters whose shacks were destroyed by the fire were from Bolobedu, Maake and NkowaNkowa.

He said those who were allocated houses had been on the housing register for some years.

"We only had a total of 550 houses built at Mokgoloboto village and squatters from Talana informal settlement who benefitted in the process were those who had registered," Phakula said.

Meanwhile, squatters who were allocated houses told Sowetan that even though some of the houses were not yet completed, they were forced to move in.

They said some houses had leaking roofs.

They have appealed to the municipality to ensure that this problem was urgently rectified before it became serious.

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