Pretoria - An inspection has found that Changing Spot informal settlement north of Pretoria cannot be developed because it is situated on various land portions the City of Tshwane does not have rights to.
The City’s chief of staff Jordan Griffiths was speaking following protest action by residents of the Soshanguve informal settlement.
They marched to Tshwane House to demonstrate, saying they had been in the dark about the development of their settlement since the City’s town planner, Mthokozisi Ntumba, who was responsible for their area, was killed.
Ntumba died when he was hit by a stray bullet during a protest by Wits University students in Braamfontein in March.
Griffiths said there were still plans to develop the area, but the settlement could only be partially developed because of its location on various land portions that belonged to different entities.
He said the minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation made the findings through the department’s National Upgrading Support Programme, where various settlements situated in Pretoria were identified and classified based on the future development of the area.
The informal settlement has 7 145 structures erected on various land portions, including portion 164 belonging to farm Klipfontein 268 JR, which is a City of Tshwane property.
However, it also falls on portion 16 of farm Klipfontein JR 268, which is private property, and portion 196 of the farm Klipfontein 268 JR, belonging to Transnet, near the railway.
Because of this, the City’s acting group head of the Human Settlements Department, Sello Chipu, said it could only develop land that belonged to it, and did not have a mandate to formalise and develop privately owned land.
Chipu said the City was in the process of formalising the portion of land that belonged to it, and it would be known as Soshanguve South Extension 29.
“A township establishment application with a total of 1 542 erven, comprising 1 531 residential erven and 11 non-residential erven, has been submitted to the Spatial Planning and Economic Development Department for approval. Once traffic engineering and road and storm comments are made and amended and approved, the applicant will be presented at the Municipal Planning Tribunal for approval. It is anticipated that the approval process should be completed by the end of February 2022,” said Chipu.
Changing Spot community leader Sello Masanabo said the people had grown tired of submitting memorandums.
“Our people want water, electricity, toilets and roads. We are also tax-paying residents and go to work to contribute positively to the economy. We just want development and services.”