update


Council’s plan to move Angelo residents is full of cracks

Work has already started on the piece of land on Main Reef Road where it is alleged the residents of the Angelo informal settlement, in Boksburg, will be moved to. The land is old mining land and littered with sinkholes and a disused mineshaft.

Unsafe old mining land, alleged irregularities with the purchase of the land, no consultation with residents, no environmental assessment and no geographical study are just some of the things which have reared their heads in the proposed move of the residents of the Angelo informal settlement.

The settlement, located in Boksburg, is believed to house about 6 000 residents and now the metro has allegedly decided to relocate residents to Driefontein Stand 87, Portion 230.

It is unclear at this stage if all the residents will be moved to this area.

The land, located on Main Reef Road, falls into Ward 21, but borders Wards 92 and 33.

“Not only will the move affect the residents of the Angelo informal settlement as they will be moving onto unsafe land where there is the potential of injury and death, but residents from Marlands and Witfield and businesses from Knights will also feel the impact,” said Ward 92 councillor Clr Tiziana Plaskitt.

The proposed move was discovered by chance by Plaskitt as she was not informed even though her ward borders the land.

Ward 33 councillor Clr Ashley Hoods (the ward in which Angelo falls) was also not informed of where they were moving the residents to.

Chairman of the Primrose Sector One CPF Debbie Watkins has spent many hours researching the move, as well as discovering alleged irregularities in the purchase of the land in question.

She is the driving force, along with Plaskitt, to get the move stopped.

“In just two weeks, a portion of the land has already been cleared and concrete slabs to accommodate dwellings have been laid,” said Plaskitt.

A public meeting for residents of Marlands, Witfield, Angelo informal settlement, Knights businesses and other interested parties was organised by Watkins and held on Saturday, at Hoërskool Goudrif.

During the meeting, residents were informed of the proposed move, as well as brief details of the alleged fraudulent purchase of the land given.

Mike Waters, MP DA constituency head: Lethabong, told the audience he would be taking the matter first and foremost to the Human Rights Commission as people could not be moved onto unsafe land.

“There are three things which gravely concern me,” said Waters.

“Firstly, the dubious purchase transaction, secondly that no site check has been done and people’s safety is a priority and, thirdly, that no one has been consulted from the surrounding suburbs, as well as from the Angelo informal settlement.”

Ald Tania Campbell, the DA chief whip of Ekurhuleni said, “I appeal to the community for your support in this matter.

“I will be instituting an investigation into all land purchased by the metro in the last five years.”

The audience was assured that the matter will be addressed at various levels of government.

Plaskitt will be bringing forward two urgent motions to council at the monthly council meeting on Thursday.

The first will deal with the fact that there has been no environmental impact study and no public participation and the second involves the sale of the land.

Residents were also given the option of signing a petition at the meeting, which will be handed to council and parliament.

“If the motions are passed on Thursday, then the metro must halt everything until a report back has been given,” Campbell said.

Watkins told residents that although representatives from the mayor’s office, human settlements, the city manager’s office and customer care had been invited to Saturday’s meeting, no one from the metro arrived.

The GCN has requested comment from the metro on the matter.

Related articles:

Alert: Public meeting to discuss Angelo informal settlement move to border Marlands

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Melissa Hart
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