Plastic View move to Garsfontein on cards

A Plastic View resident who did not want to be identified. Photo: Ron Sibiya

Residents of the sprawling informal settlement known as Plastic View will be moved to Garsfontein, Tshwane regional executive director Sello Chipu said.

Addressing a group of residents about concerns over and problems at the Pretoria East cemetery recently, Chipu, who represents Region 6 of Tshwane, however did not elaborate about the metro’s plans for Plastic View.

The informal settlement is home to more than 3 000 people and is situated next to the Moreleta NG Kerk on prime property about a two kilometres from the cemetery.

“We are taking Plastic View to Garsfontein,” was all Chipu said.

He said there were illegal foreigners living at Plastic View and home affairs had been engaged in an attempt to find a solution on how to deal with the undocumented residents at the settlement.

Tshwane metro had been involved in several court cases for more than ten years in an attempt to remove the squatters, but Lawyers for Human Rights, representing the informal settlement, had been blocking every attempt for resettlement over the years.

“We have a Constitution in this country and therefore cannot just remove people at will,” Chipu told the meeting.

Questions went unanswered this week about where in Garsfontein the metro intended moving Plastic View.

“There are still critical relocation implications and therefore the sought details can only be provided once the legalities have been addressed,” Tshwane spokesman Lindela Mashigo said in response to enquiries about Chipu’s statement.

“Be mindful that this legal process is lengthy as it involves the identification of an alternative liveable land and provision of basic services.”

Mashigo made it clear that home affairs was not stagnating the process of relocation.

The regional executive director clearly articulated that Lawyers for Human Rights were challenging the relocation of the settlement in question, he said.

“In addition, he mentioned the department as one of the stakeholders to be involved in this relocation process.” Mashigo said.

“It is hoped that once the legal process is over, the department of home affairs will determine the immigration status of the residents in Plastic View,” he said.

Home owners associations and residents in the affluent areas surrounding the mushrooming squatter settlement have been battling for years to have the camp removed. The squatters have been blamed for crime in the area.

A decision last year by the metro to auction off the valuable property on which Plastic View is located was halted at the eleventh hour by Lawyers for Human Rights who lodged a successful urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court.

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Stephané Bothma

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