There is frustration and anger among residents of Olievenhoutbosch who are furious over a disastrous RDP project in Extension 27.
Sixteen months after they were allocated their new homes, they are still without water and electricity.
About 112 residents were relocated from Choba informal settlement in the area to occupy 112 RDP houses in Extension 27 in December 2016. But the new home owners are still without title deeds and basic services.
Although water meters were installed outside each house, residents complained that water and sanitation networks were still not connected, while they spent each night in the dark.
“It has been 16 months without water and electricity. Even now, there are about 60 houses out of the 112 that are without electricity. We reported this to the Centurion municipality, but were ignored,” housing beneficiary Litre Leopeng told The Citizen yesterday.
While the city provided rudimentary services in the form of chemical toilets and communal taps, residents were concerned about their health as all 112 households shared between 10 and 12 portable toilets, which harbour germs and bacteria as they are out in the sun.
“We have to fetch water in the street from fire hydrants. We have toilets in our homes and we can’t even use them because they can’t flush. The elderly and young children have to go out in the streets at night whenever they need to use a toilet,” Leopeng said.
The community’s steering committee, which was established by provincial government to address conflict between Olievenhoutbosch and Mooiplaas residents, handed over the remaining 888 RDP houses to backyard dwellers last year after numerous reports of vandalism and crime in the vacant homes.
This prompted the Gauteng department of human settlements to approach the High Court in Pretoria last month to seek an eviction interdict for the illegal occupants, as the homes were built for residents of Mooiplaas informal settlement. The matter will be heard on May 23.
Secretary organiser of the Olievenhoutbosch steering committee Robert Khalushi said they decided to give the homes to the community’s “backyard dwellers” since local and provincial government had not yet established a beneficiary database.
“This disaster is government’s mistake. They delayed and couldn’t provide an approved list of beneficiaries.
“We said in November last year that we will relocate people, but they ignored us.
“Gauteng Premier David Makhura promised us that they would verify all the people in the houses and they should not leave. They must stop with this court process and do what the premier promised us,” said Khalushi.
Tshwane MMC of housing and human settlements Mandla Nkomo told The Citizen Extension 27 was left without basic services as there were bulk line issues, which the city was sorting out.
“If everything goes according to plan, the work should commence any time from next week.
“Our electricity department was working on a backlog but they have confirmed that now they will be focusing on the area,” he said.
He said the city wanted to apply a 50/50 policy when allocating homes to the Mooiplaas and Olievenhoutbosch beneficiaries.