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Mashatile promises developed formal housing in Hammanskraal

The MEC announced the appointment of a steering committee to deal with the aftermath of violent clashes.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile (centre) says there will be no more evictions and demolitions in Hammanskraal following a meeting with community leaders. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Following the suspension of evictions in Hammanskraal, Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile said the area will be developed to deliver formal housing to affected locals.

On Monday, two people were killed and several others injured when residents being evicted retaliated against private security officials.

Yesterday Mashatile announced the appointment of a steering committee to deal with the aftermath of the clashes which he says were due to a misunderstanding.

He said the steering committee will be helping those who were evicted move back to the area.

Mashatile said despite the land in dispute belonging partly to the City of Tshwane and the Royal Kekana family, it is possible to develop it.

He said the new steering committee will meet on Friday to start preparations for development in the area.

The committee, along with the City of Tshwane, will have to start numbering shacks of those currently living in Sekampaneng and Suurman to allow them to qualify for formal housing.

In the meantime, Mashatile said government will look into introducing basic services such as water and electricity to the informal settlement.

Both the City of Tshwane and the Royal Kekana family have committed to supporting development process.

WATCH: Hammanskraal evictions and demolitions halted.

Meanwhile, Mashatile said he believes residents in Hammanskraal when they say they were under the impression they had moved onto land legally.

Residents claim they were given permission by an African National Congress councillor to occupy the land.

The MEC said the forced removals have been called off.

"We will count the people properly and ensure that those who have been settled there for a while we look at an orderly development for them."

Mashatile said he's trying to find out how so many people were allowed to settle before eviction orders were given.

He said while the deaths of two people on Monday is unfortunate, residents had no choice but to protect themselves and their homes.

CITY OF TSHWANE TAKES FIRM STANCE

The City of Tshwane said even though evictions have been stopped in Hammanskraal, it won't hesitate to remove any illegal dwellers in other parts of the city.

Mashatile said because of this misunderstanding, government has decided not to take any corrective action against the dwellers.

Tshwane Human Settlements MMC Joshua Ngonyama said the city still has a valid court order to evict illegal occupants in other areas.

But Ngonyama said he was happy with the decision taken to allow occupants in Hammanskraal to stay on the land and to provide services to the area.

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