Land-grabbing Mamelodi residents vow to continue erecting shacks

Half-erected shacks next to Eerste Fabrieke railway station. Photo: Stephen Selaluke

Despite continuous clashes between metro police and residents of Bufferzone and Tsakane, Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, residents have returned to erect shacks again.

Residents have vowed not to go anywhere and said it was their constitutional right to stay on the empty space next to Eerste Fabrieke railway station.

They said they followed the right procedure, unlike the Tshwane metro that simply went and demolished their shacks.

In the past weeks the residents and metro police have clashed after the metro vowed to crush the lawlessness seen around Mamelodi.

Residents of Bufferzone on the other hand, complained they had not been given notice to vacate the land. Instead, metro police demolished their shacks without warning.

The residents said: “The metro police did not talk to anyone and started demolishing the shacks.”

The residents said most of them who erected shacks had done their homework. They had talks with their councillor who informed them the metro had no plans with the empty space.

“We then decided to erect shacks there. Most of the residents who erected shacks, were still staying with their parents and had nowhere else to go.”

“All we want is a place to stay.”

Last week residents watched helplessly as the metro police demolished their shacks.

They took their frustration to the streets and barricaded Tsamaya Road with burning tyres, destroyed traffic lights and even torched a bus.

Residents complained houses on the RDP housing list were handed to family members of officials working at the metro.

The metro said they would act against anyone who occupied land illegally.

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Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

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