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Metro task team to formalise informal settlements, curb land invasions

Letsema will focus on the electrification of, provision of potable water to, reticulation and sanitation in informal settlements.

Work is progressing well on the formation a special task team that will deal with land invasions, according to the Tshwane mayor.

Called the Letsema task team, the team will also help formalise informal settlements.

Stevens Mokgalapa told delegates to the annual property seminar in Pretoria on Tuesday that the team would be established “soon”.

The team had been allocated an R1,5-billion budget.

The team was first announced during Mokgalapa’s maiden budget speech in May.

“The team will be dedicated to various projects from electrification to water provision, reticulation and sanitation,” said Mokgalapa.

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: Man killed at an informal settlement

During the speech, Mokgalapa said a further R77,3-million would be allocated for the formalisation of informal settlements such as Olievenhoutbosch and Mooiplaas.

Tuesday’s seminar also sought to find ways to use the metro’s property portfolio of more than 56 000 assets to reinvigorate the Tshwane property sector.

“This seminar will reflect on the balance between revenue optimisation and the developmental mandate of local government as part of real estate portfolio management,” Mokgalapa said.

He also spoke of a policy recently adopted by council on the management of its more than 52 000 properties.

“It serves as a cornerstone for facilitating collaborative efforts to optimise the use and management of [these] properties.”

One of the informal settlements that may benefit from the task team’s establishment is Mooiplaas near Centurion, which has been marred by service delivery protests.

Community representatives, together with local ward councillor Kingsley Wakelin, called on the 128 hectare area to be formalised.

“Residents have called again and again for this,” Wakelin said.

ALSO READ: City warns informal settlements of fires

Due to the dolomitic nature of the area, it was decided to move the residents to Olievenhoutbosch.

This ended in disaster when 841 houses built in Olievenhoutbosch extension 27 in 2015 for Mooiplaas residents were illegally occupied by local residents.

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