Soweto residents call on Mashaba to give them land

The group earlier attempted to illegally grab land in Protea Glen, where they clashed with residents who already stay there.

FILE: Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A group of Soweto residents have called on Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba to identify land of which they could occupy.

The group earlier attempted to illegally grab land in Protea Glen, where they clashed with residents who already stay there.

Police managed to defuse tensions and disperse the two crowds.

One of the land grabbers says even if the government fails to provide housing for them, all they want is space to occupy and build their own homes.

“We’re appealing to him (Mashaba) for land. Even if they don’t build homes for us as long as they can give us land.”

'FORMALISED APPROACH TO LAND OCCUPATION'

Mashaba says there is a need for a formalised approach to land occupation.

He was responding to a land invasion in Protea Glen, Soweto.

Mashaba says these kinds of events reflect the government’s failure to provide decent housing to residents and says that the challenge is now top of his agenda.

He says he has increased his budget from R60 million to just over R100 million for service stands.

“We cannot afford a situation where people don’t have sanitation, water, electricity or streets. They don’t have an identity… imagine living in an environment with no streets.”

Mashaba has called on those who illegally grab land to be patient.

“I’m appealing to them to work with the government, who is committed to ensuring that our people live in a dignified environment.”