RDP homeowners “encroaching” on municipal land told to tear down properties

Johannesburg Roads Agency plans to tar Mlilo Street soon. But some houses have been extended onto the road reserve

| By

Ivory Park resident Flora Tjabadi says she used her life savings to renovate her parents’ RDP house. She was one of several people to get a notice instructing her to break down extensions to their properties which encroach on the road reserve. Photo: Chris Gilili

  • Dozens of homes along Mlilo Street in Ivory Park, Midrand have been instructed to tear down parts of their properties which encroach on the road reserve.
  • The Johannesburg Roads Agency plans to tar streets in the community soon. But some of the RDP houses have been extended onto municipal land.
  • The affected households are refusing to comply and say they will fight the government’s notice.

Pensioner Rose Masinge is worried that she will no longer have a toilet or a front gate to her home if she complies with a legal notice by the Johannesburg Roads Agency.

Masinge’s RDP house is among dozens along and near Mlilo Street in Ivory Park, Midrand whose owners have been ordered to tear down part of their properties which encroach on the road reserve. The agency plans to tar the street soon.

But Masinge and other residents, most of whom have lived in their houses since 1991, say when they moved into the houses, all they were told by the government was that their property should not go beyond where the water meters were placed.

According to the letter from the Johannesburg Roads Agency, which GroundUp has seen, the affected homes “extend illegally into the road reserve, prohibiting construction to proceed in the road reserve”. Residents were given until 3 May to demolish or relocate their property.

“This is a stressful situation. I don’t know how I will move my toilet which is built close to the gate. They should have installed the tar road before the construction of the RDP houses. I don’t know how I will rebuild my house. Are they going to pay for this?” said Masinge.

Pensioner Rose Masinge says she doesn’t know how she will rebuild her house.

Resident Flora Tjabadi said residents planned to fight the notice. “Our councillor should have consulted us and not just given us letters. Many of us got these RDP houses from our parents who have passed on. I took all my life savings and renovated my parents’ house.”

Community activist Kholofelo Maduna said, ”People are just told to break down their houses. There’s no specification to even say by how many metres they overlapped onto the road.”

“There’s more than enough space for this road to be built here.”

Ward 77 Councillor Yoliswa Twala told GroundUp that many residents had welcomed the tarring of the road. She did not answer questions about the affected households’ concerns.

Project manager at the agency Tshepo Maimane said most people had not applied to the City of Joburg when they extended their properties.

He said it is residents’ responsibility to adhere to municipal by-laws. “We cannot help people with the costs of moving their homes. However, they are welcome to write to us and ask for an extension with the breaking down and moving of their homes,” said Maimane.

Mlilo Street in Ivory Park is to be tarred.

TOPICS:  Housing

Next:  Victims shot by gangs using “Prinsloo Guns” launch class action

Previous:  Revealed: how Angie Motshekga’s reading plan failed SA’s children

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.