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By Siphumelele Khumalo

Journalist


City of Tshwane condemns EFF land grabs

MMC for Community Safety Grandi Theunissen was adamant that this was a manner of the EFF to pushing their own agenda and taking advantage of the community’s vulnerability.


The City of Tshwane has condemned what they call Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) attempt to cause unrest and affliction in Olievenhoutbosch through illegal land grabs.

MMC for Community Safety Grandi Theunissen said over the weekend, the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), together with private security providers, responded to various calls to halt illegal land grabs in Olievenhoutbosch.

Theunissen was adamant that this was the plan of the political party to push their own agenda and take advantage of the community’s vulnerability.

“We call on the community of Olievenhoutbosch to constructively engage with the City on service delivery matters. In that way a structured approach can be followed to ensure that the City can provide the necessary services to these communities going forward.”

“Trusting opportunistic political parties who make empty promises will only lead to further anger, frustration and disappointment. Despite the City’s stretched resources and financial stability challenges, our multiparty coalition government remains committed to driving quality service delivery for all.”

However, residents of the area said this was just the beginning and they would occupy any vacant land there was. The residents also said that this was the last resort as their cries were falling on deaf ears.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘If land is vacant, we will take it’ – EFF leads land invasion outside Sandton

The Olievenhoutbosch land is barren bar veld and dumped junk. There is no water, no sewage and no electricity.

EFF local ward chairperson Alpha Hadebe told The Citizen: “If they break it down, we will rebuild. They can break it down again, and we will rebuild again. And, we will do so until we exhaust them”, in response to authorities intervening and possibly forcefully removing dwellers in the area.  

Another EFF ward committee chair, Peter Seolela, said the root of the issue was the fact that the ruling party did not stick to its word and their actions were the last resort. He said the ANC is “a bunch of liars”, and noted previous promised by ANC Treasurer General – Paul Mashitile that land would be purchased or expropriated for housing purposes. According to the EFF local leaders, none of this has happened.

He said: “Promises were made in 2017. It is now 2022. I am sure some of these people will apply for housing, die, and their kids will still remain homeless.”

ALSO READ: Umlungu gets new perspective, after visiting land invaders in Olievenhoutbosch

Additional reporting by Hein Kaiser

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