Pictured above: Residents of Reagile wait for the private landowner to show up.
By Max Rambau, CORC
On 15 Jan, I met with the community of Reagile in Princess next to Roodepoort on Saturday and this was a postponed meeting from the previous day after the landowner, Mr. Robert, whom we were supposed to meet did not turn up.
The landowner did not turn up again on this day.
The meeting had been arranged so that we could discuss the transfer of the land by the landowner to the community. The landowner had previously moved 31 families from two plots and placed at Plot 17 & 18. The community members were labour-tenants who have rights to the land.
We were hoping to meet with him to request him to write a letter to the community to formalise the hand over of land. We then agreed with the community members that we need to engage the ward councillor to assist in facilitating a meeting between the landowner and the community for the hand over of land. The ward councillor is aware of this problem.
The ward councillor in the other ward next to Plot 17 & 18 had once ordered the “Red Ants” to demolish shacks in the area in order to build a bus stop (in a ward that does not belong to him) but the Human Rights Commission challenged these evictions and the people were returned to their place.
For the damaged goods and properties, the community is awaiting a court date.
The community indicated that they were faced with a challenge of some people who want to bring other people to the area and they are apparently selling stands to them but the local leadership is fighting against this and they want only the 31 families to remain in the area.