By Mervyn Cirota MPL, DA Gauteng spokesperson for Housing:
The failure of the Gauteng provincial government to provide adequate housing to the poor is reaching a boiling point, resulting in a rise in land invasions, such as what took place in Eldorado Park extension 6, yesterday.
Instead of waiting on government to do its job, communities are becoming increasingly determined and are organising to take matters into their own hands.
To date Gauteng human settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo has not provided a solution to the problem and despite continuous red flags raised by residents, has failed to acknowledge or understand communities’ plight.
The MEC’s actions continue to be reactive threatening apartheid-style forced removals – only increasing tensions.
Unless a complete re-evaluation on housing provision and allocation is immediately undertaken to deal with the 700 000 unit backlog in Gauteng, protests are likely to continue unabated.
If the MEC refuses to hear the voices and demands of the poorest of the poor, informal settlements will remain a hotbed of political and social instability.