Efforts to move informal settlement behind Cradlestone Mall halted

The informal settlement is growing every day and what seemed like one shack is now more than 10. Photo: Submitted

A message currently circulating on all social media platforms contains information about the alleged relocation of members of an informal settlement in Honingklip located near Cradlestone Mall, to Plot 11 in Honingklip.

“The Mayor will be having a meeting (according to my understanding at 5pm on Plot 11). Please spread this info as fast and as far as possible to all affected by this. Everyone affected by this [is] in the areas between Farm City, Oaktree, Kromdraai, Protearidge and Rant-and-Dal. The Cradle is the part that will be most affected by this. This property is also situated directly against the N14 which is a high speed, high accident zone road that has enough annual deaths in this specific area,” the message reads.

It also states that Province [Gauteng Department of Human Settlements] is putting Mogale and the Mayor under tremendous pressure to move the Mtombo squatter camp (the one near Cradlestone Mall) and to relocate these “mostly illegals” as soon as possible. The site for relocation is mentioned in the message as the Old Jobmor Kennels known as Plot 11.

Also Read: Mogale City responsible for Ruimsig informal settlement

Although this message is welcomed by community members because of the nature of the informal settlement – it would mean there will no longer be as many pedestrians on that section of the N14 and there will no longer be as much strain on the infrastructure and safety of the area – the execution of the plan could be problematic to the community.

There are also a few details in the circulating message that are not correct, for example, the areas affected are Pinehaven, Hongingklip/ Heuningklip, Northvale and Steynsvlei.

The mention of Mogale being pressurised is also incorrect. It’s not the Province that is putting Mogale and the Mayor under strain – it is rather a deal between the parties to ‘solve’ the problem.

This move will also not solve the issues regarding pedestrians on the N14, it will only move the problem from one section of the road to another.

The local ward committee claims they were not informed about the decision to move the settlement by Patrick Lipudi, the current Mayor of Mogale City.

“… there is, according to my research, already a beneficiary list in place for that property which is for the people currently living in our Ward [39],” said Zillah Maguire, DA councillor for the ward. “Site development plans have already been done for Plot 11, as it is earmarked for low-cost housing.”

Maguire said unfortunately there is no court order prohibiting the use of Plot 11 – the case went to appeal, but was never heard.

“I will be taking all the issues up with the Mayor before the meeting and hope to gain clarity on the matter as it seems as if the correct channels were not followed.”

Maguire confirmed that the meeting will be taking place and stakeholders and residents within the affected areas are encouraged to attend.

Details of the meeting:

Place: Plot 11, Honingklip (A few metres beyond the Usambara venue near Sasol Pinehaven)

Date: 12 September

Time: 5pm

Mogale City has been contacted in connection with the meeting, but has not yet responded.

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  AUTHOR
Bianca Pindral
Journalist

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