The City’s Crime Combating Unit – RCCU today led an operation to demolish recently illegally erected structures on a piece of land along the bustling R 510. Part of the earmarked land by the grabbers, was used as a site establishment office, by one of the appointed contractors for the Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) project. Initial reports received by the Municipality late yesterday, indicated a construction of illegal structures (shacks) by a group of people, who had also begun demarcating the land.
The Municipality’s Public Safety Officers and an official from the Planning and Human Settlements Directorate, descended upon the portion where the land grabs where underway. After successfully halting the continuation of the construction of illegal structures on the edge of a flood line and within close proximity to the concrete barrier of the high-way, the group was dispersed and law enforcement patrolled the area over-night to ensure no further illegal activity took place.
Today the City’s Law enforcement officials, with support of the members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) – Public Order Policing as well as members of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) oversaw the demolition operation of the illegal structures which had been erected and awaiting occupation. The Municipality cleared the site of the debris following the demolition, and constant patrols in the area will continue, to discourage would be land-grabbers from erecting illegal structures.
When responding to today’s demolition operation the Executive Mayor – Councillor Mpho Khunou said the further development of Rustenburg depends on the successful implementation of strategic spatial planning processes “you can imagine the kind of inconvenience a new informal settlement can bring so close to one of the busiest highways in Rustenburg. It would mean, if you do not have land to relocate them to, you needed to build an over-head highway bridge to cater for pedestrians, which of course was not in our plans, over and above the services which need to be redirected to them as enshrined in the Constitution” Mayor Khunou emphasized.
The Municipality, has made great strides to ensure that the issue of access to housing, especially for sections of the community, with minimal to no-income is addressed. Before the national lock-down early this year, the Municipality had begun the process of formalizing 10 informal settlements in Rustenburg as well as purchasing additional land for purposes of human settlements and further development, for those who require housing. Residents of Plastic View, Boshoek and Popo Molefe are among those who stand to benefit from the process, on the back of a completed audit done by the Municipality to significantly reduce the number of informal dwellings.
This incident follows, another separate and unrelated land-grab incident where law enforcement where called to Dinnie Estate, along the R 24 (Krugersdorp Road), at the weekend. A group of people, were found demarcating the land, and erecting shacks and fences. The Municipality’s law enforcement officials, with the assistance of the SAPS and the SANDF successfully removed the illegal occupiers from the land as well as the apparatus used to establish the illegal structures. Patrols continue in the area, to prevent another incident of illegal land occupation.