Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (www.DiasporaEngager.com).

Mavuso informal settlement in Nellmapius near Mamelodi want the City of Tshwane to fulfil a promise to relocate them to serviced sites after their homes were destroyed a number of times by flooding. Photos: Warren Mabona

Scores of people living at Mavuso informal settlement in Nellmapius near Mamelodi want the City of Tshwane to fulfil a promise to relocate them to better land.

Most of them live in shacks near the banks of the Moretele River and their homes are surrounded by filth from illegal dumping sites.

In September, City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo told GroundUp that a budget of R369-million had been set aside for the servicing as well as the relocation of informal settlements, particularly severely flood-prone ones.

Due to its proximity to the river, Mavuso informal settlement is vulnerable to flooding. The settlement was hit by floods that destroyed scores of homes in December 2022 and again in December 2023.

Mashigo said the first group of flood victims from other informal settlements were relocated to portions of the City’s Mooiplaats farm. He said Mavuso informal settlement residents would be part of the second relocation group. “The City is working hard to complete the preparation of land and proceed with the relocation of Mavuso residents.”

Now Mavuso residents are demanding the City speed up the process as their living conditions are getting worse.

Resident Margret Mnisi said her shack had been flooded three times.

“The City promised to find land and relocate us a long time ago,” said Mnisi. “I lost clothes and furniture when my home flooded but I continued to stay here because the City promised us a safe land. The City did not even tell us that it is relocating people from other informal settlements.”

Another resident Mike Khoza said they all rely on illegal connections for electricity. He said relocating to land with serviced sites will make them feel safe.

On 31 January, Mashigo again promised that Mavuso residents would be relocated in the next phase, but still did not say when it would start.

According to Mashigo, 517 people from other informal settlements in Mamelodi were already relocated to a new City-managed settlement called Leeuwfontein Ext 27 in November.

“The City has acquired four portions of land to accommodate the beneficiaries from informal settlements, including those flooded in 2019 and 2022,” said Mashigo.

“Mavuso residents will be relocated in the next phase to the land that was acquired by the [provincial government], which the City is currently clearing and rehabilitating,” he said.

Hundreds of people were relocated to this new City-managed settlement called Leeuwfontein Ext 27 in November.

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