Mayor calls on residents to occupy sites

Mantsopa Local Municipality executive mayor, Sello Ntsepe, has urged beneficiaries allocated 29 sites at the newly developed township of Platburg in Ladybrand to occupy their site or face losing them to other residents in desperate need of housing.

About 428 new sites under government’s land restitution programme were allocated to people of Ladybrand in 2011. Sixty beneficiaries were built houses while the rest opted for cash compensation.

The municipality installed basic services such as water, sewage network and electricity in phases two years ago.

Ntsepe said the municipality is now faced with a challenge of people who were given sites in the area but are still not occupying them.

“I would like to plead with those who were given these sites to occupy them so that we can complete the installation of electricity and sewage connection in their households. Failure to do so, will lead to the sites been given to other people who need them because we cannot wait for people who seem to be comfortable where they stay,” warned Ntsepe.

He said most residents in the area were forcefully removed from their homes during the apartheid era.

“Our people were told that the area will be reserved for industrial purposes. They still stay far from town because it was reserved for white people.”

He added that the construction of an R8-million sewage network in the location has been completed.

“That project was funded by Motheo District Municipality. Last year, we started with another project of installing electricity in the households to the tune of R1.6-million and phase 1 of the project has been completed and phase 2 has commenced and is scheduled for completion soon after been halted by 29 sites which are still to be occupied,” said Ntsepe.

Mampaileng Molete (67) said she is happy to finally own a site.

“I have never had a place of my own before. I am happy that I now own one. I am staying in a shack and I believe that the municipality will build me an RDP house as promised. However, we still have a challenge of bad roads which we were told that they will also be fixed soon,” said Molete.

Mantsopa Local Municipality technical director, Neo Raliapeng, confirmed that construction of roads in the township is in the pipe line.

“What we are doing in the meantime during the current financial year is to level the roads with gravel while we apply for funding.”