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By Bennitt Bartl

News Editor

Committee established to initiate relocating Centurion’s ‘river people’

Bageresi representatives say they conduct business on the site across from SuperSport Park, and are trying their best to clean the area, but do not have the necessary tools.

A committee has been established to engage on plans which might see the relocation of Centurion’s so-called “river people”, who reside at the informal recycling sorting station, reports Centurion Rekord.

The committee is called the Bageresi Action Group.

This was the outcome of a public meeting held in Doringkloof on Thursday evening between the residents and representatives of the “river people” or Bageresi.

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These people make a living through recycling and are at the centre of concerns around health, property prices, safety and crime in the area.

They conduct business on the site across from SuperSport Park in West Avenue, and over 100 of them live there.

One representative of the Bageresi, Stefan van der Westhuizen, said those living on the site were dedicated to uplifting the compound.

“For the last three years, we have been struggling to find a solution,” said Van der Westhuizen.

A plan has since been formulated and presented to the metro.

“By using the compound and the Bageresi people to build a proper recycling buy-back centre we can also create a green space.”

Van der Westhuizen said the Bageresi were trying their best to clean the area but did not have the necessary tools.

“They are concerned with the coming rainy season. They are really trying with the means they have to clean the area and the river.”

However, residents felt that it had taken too long for a solution to be put in place.

One resident suggested that an old abandoned building in Kruger Avenue be used as a buy-back centre while others just called on the people to be moved as soon as possible.

Ward councillor Gert Visser said the next step would be to find two suitable pieces of land: one for the Bageresi to stay on and another where they could do their work.

“The Bageresi Action Group will attempt to identify land which might be suitable for these purposes,” said Visser.

He called on the community to assist the committee in identifying suitable locations for the Bageresi.

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