News Update – MMM Formalises MK Square

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Click here to download the PDF for News Update 25 Feb 2013

In his State Of The Province Address Premier Ace Magashule made a commitment that the Free State Provincial Government will work hard in ensuring that the 2030 vision of Human Settlements is realised. “By 2030, most South African will have affordable access to services and quality environments. New developments will break away from old patterns and significant progress will be made in retrofitting existing settlements,” premier Magashule said. Key to this process will be the formalisation of informal settlements, upgrading of services and the installation of the necessary social infrastructure to make these areas viable and suitable. In line with this 2030 vision, Mangaung Metro Municipality started with the first phase on Saturday, 23 February 2013, where 350 site permits were issued to deserving residents of MK Square in Bloemfontein. About 140 permits will be issued later as there are disputes on these sites.

These disputes include two people found to have applied for the same site and where a person who was taking care of the site has registered the site in his name without the consent of the existing occupant. In an effort to ensure proper administration of the registration and awarding of permits, an office has been established at the Bloemfontein Regional Office in Rocklands. This office has also the Dispute Resolution Committee led by Ntate Letawana. The second phase of the process will be registration for subsidies. The subsidies are linked to RDP housing project were the price of the site is added to the subsidy. Residents are warned that it takes eight [8] years before an occupant can own the RDP house. It is only after these years that an individual can use his or her house as a surety or guarantee. According to Councillor Xolo Pongolo, MMC for Human Settlements and Housing, the municipality has the first buying right to RDP houses after these 8 years.

In his address, Clr Pongolo, emphasised the importance of separating the role played by the councillors and the officials. He said that “councillors are not responsible for awarding of sites but only the municipality officials designated to issue or award sites. The role of the councillors is to recommend to the municipality”. “The municipality is also in the process of removing all occupants of RDP houses who do not qualify to own these houses. These are the people beyond the threshold allowed to qualify. People like public servants and those working for private companies who earn above the threshold are targeted,” Clr Pongolo said. Permit holders are requested not to allow other people to stay on these sites as that will be in contravention of the policy since only holders can occupy the site. Until all these processes are completed, the sites still belong to the municipality.

Click here to download the PDF for News Update 25 Feb 2013