By Max Rambau, CORC
This meeting was arranged by the Mayor of Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality with the community stakeholders and the landowners at Makause.
This meeting follows a visit by the Mayor. It was chaired by the MMC for Housing but did not have an agenda but the municipality explained that they wanted to provide services for 3 months and they wanted the landowners to give them permission to do so.
The meeting turned out to be a war of words between the landowners and the municipality.
The municipality wanted to clean the area and also put up flood lights and water in the area.
Some of the landowners that included DRD Gold, Roseacres and others wanted to know from the municipality what the reason was for providing service only for 3 months when the people had been in the area for more than 20 years. They also wanted to know what would happen after 3 months. They suggested that the municipality should buy the land as it was available or negotiate for leasehold.
They also indicated that the municipality should give consideration to land tenure rights of the community that has been in the area for 20 years.
The landowners informed the municipality that they have writing letters to the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality about the community of Makause but they did not get any responses and that they had even written letter to the Minister of Human Settlements asking him to do something about the community. They told the Minister that there was land available for settlement while there was also land that was dolomitic. They also informed the municipality that the people of Makause had put up their shacks on top of graves and this was a shock to the community because they did not know about this.
The municipality accused the landowners of not negotiating in good faith when they wanted permission to provide services for 3 months. The landowners indicated that it was instead the municipality that was not negotiating in good faith by not agreeing to buy land or enter into agreement for leasehold.
The meeting adjourned without any concrete agreements and all the issues raised were just left loose.
The MMC requested the community to remain behind after the meeting but they refused to attend this meeting.
A meeting was proposed between the ISN, community stakeholders (excluding the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality) and the landowners to further discuss the issue of land. The date of the meeting still to be agreed upon.