Worries over RDP project
A housing project for the small Thalane community in Buysdorp has caused a lot of disappointment and some residents fear that they will never be able to have a house of their own.
The project was halted shortly after the foundations were dug in 2010. According to the community's secretary, Sipho Makhura, at least 30 people qualified for RDP houses, which were being provided to the community. “But soon after they had dug foundations, they stopped with the project without any proper, clear explanation,” said Makhura.
The Thalane community first raised a concern about the halted RDP houses with the Makhado Municipality on 29 May 2011, and the former municipal manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, answered them on 23 June 2011. Tshikalange indicated that there were minor obstacles which had to be cleared before the project could resume.
Makhado Municipality's spokesperson Louis Bobodi said that the “issue is known” to the municipality. “We are just waiting for Coghsta to unblock the project and provide funds,” said Bobodi.
The senior manager for communication services at Coghsta, Evans Selomo, said that the department could not proceed with the project due to a land dispute in the area. “Once the land issue is resolved, the department will proceed with the implementation of the project,” Selomo said.
One of the supposed beneficiaries, Katherine Tshuma (39), said that she and her two children had nowhere else to stay after her house collapsed during the rainy season early this year. “I pray for our government to help me,” she said. “If I had money or a job, I would have been building a house for me and my children.”
Lazarus Weston, chairperson of the Buys committee, confirmed that there was a land claim issue and that they were only waiting for a date when the matter would be heard in the North Gauteng High Court. “But I feel that I must make it clear,” he said. “We don't mind if they continue with the RDP project because that in itself is part of development in Buysdorp.”
He then said that the houses must be shared between the two sides, the Thalanes and the Buys community. “We will have a community meeting at the end of the month, where we will resolve this issue and give the department the green light to continue with the project,” Weston said.