Gauteng Legislature postpones petitions visits to feuding residents of extensions 9 and 10 in Alex

Part of the crowd of residents during the Special Sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in Alexandra early this month.

 

The Gauteng Legislature’s Petitions Standing Committee has postponed a scheduled visit to the feuding residents of extensions 9 and 10, which was due on 20 April.

The visit will now take place on 26 April at 11am.

The committee will inspect the allocation system, meet the feuding residents on both sides of the landlord and tenants and see firsthand the nature of the construction of the houses and flatlets at the centre of the feud.

The postponement, due to the Special Sitting of the Legislature called by the Speaker Ntombi Mekwe following the death of a Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL), Sipho Makama, was announced by the spokesperson of the legislature, Thebe Khumalo.

The visit was to be led by members of the committee who were at the hearings conducted at the East Bank Hall at the beginning of April after it had been separately petitioned by landlords and tenants of both extensions who are feuding over the payment and non-payment of rent in the housing settlement.

Built in 2009 by the Alexandra Renewal Project, the allocation of houses in the flatlet land created the feudalistic system of landlord and tenant.

During the allocation of the RDP flatlets, the project moved people from their shacks along the banks of the Jukskei River and, based on their income levels, allocated the flatlets as RDP houses to one group, while the other group, with a higher income, was asked to occupy the adjacent ground rooms as tenants, paying a rental of R350 a month to the owners of the RDP flatlets.

This gave birth to a feud as the so-called tenants refused to pay the rent, saying they were people of the same socio-economic standing and deserved to be given the ground rooms as RDPs as well.

Initially, the project had said that the rental arrangement was a temporary measure with a lease of five years, after which the tenants were to be moved out and allocated their own houses, but this never materialised.

On the other hand, the landlords sought to enforce the payment of rent or evict non-compliant tenants and find their own, who will obey their rules.

This opened a can of worms and running battles between the two groups. The previous ANC-led administration of the City of Johannesburg failed to address the matter and then the groups petitioned the legislature for a solution.

Chairperson of the committee, Refilwe Mogale said at the end of a two-day hearing they needed to visit the site to see and hear for themselves from the affected parties and familiarise themselves with the structure of allocations before making a ruling on the issue.

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

Read: Ext 9 and 10 to get visit

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  AUTHOR
Sipho Siso

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