Human Rights Commission to look at N12 informal settlement

Ali Maphoto (left) and George Madisa, residents of the N12 informal settlement, told the City Times about their move from Bapsfontein and their current living conditions.

Mary Goby

Former Ward 28 councillor Mary Goby approached the SAHRC recently, after she noted the conditions the residents were living in.

“It’s deteriorating there. Some can’t get to clinics, because there’s no decent access,” Goby said.

“I just want what is fair for all; my heart breaks when I’m told an elderly person is stuck in their shack, due to no access.”

Mary Goby.

 

Mayor’s visit

The mayor of Ekurhuleni, Clr Mzwandile Masina, visited the N12 informal settlement, next to Chief Albert Luthuli Park on Friday (March 10).

An entourage of metro officials and EMPD members accompanied the mayor to the outlying area.

At the time of going to print, no comment from the mayor’s office had been received regarding the visit.

Mzwandile Masina.

 

Residents

A Chief Albert Luthuli Park resident told the City Times crime is rife in the settlement, and he felt it had also increased in his suburb since the residents were moved there, in 2010.

George Madisa, a resident of the N12 informal settlement, recalled how the people were promised new land to settle on within three months of their move from Bapsfontein, though this never happened.

“There is too much crime here – it would be better if we could be moved, but this just doesn’t happen,” Madisa said.

A few other residents, who did not want to be named, voiced their concerns about the presence of illegal miners in the settlement as this activity is, according to them, commonplace at the mine shafts across the highway from them.

 

Court orders

The Constitutional Court made a final order in May 2015.

The court order stated: “The municipality (Ekurhuleni) has breached its constitutional obligations by failing to abide by the orders dated December 6, 2011 and March 12, 2014.”

“The source and scope of these obligations are found in the constitution: to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner (section 152, 1, b).”

 

Metro’s comment

According to the metro, a sinkhole developed in the Bapsfontein informal settlement in 2010.

“The area was then declared a disaster area – hence the residents were relocated to the N12 informal settlement,” Gadebe said.

The 2015 court order found the residents were unlawfully removed from Bapsfontein.

Gadebe further said the December 2011 court order required the metro to find alternative land for the residents from Bapsfontein.

“The municipality has identified suitable housing land in Mayfield extensions 45 and 46 for them,” he said.

When asked why the metro failed to comply with the 2011 court order within the stipulated time, Gadebe said: “The delay was as a result of the misinterpretation of the court order by the legal adviser appointed by the council; hence the court accepted the council’s explanation.”

The metro’s response also stated that another reason delaying the relocation of the residents is that the areas they are to move to still need to be provided with essential services.


 

Also read:

Court rules mayor and municipal manager should account

Goby approaches Human Rights Commission about lifts

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  AUTHOR
Erik van Dijk
Journalist

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