After years, finality on the cards for Newcastle’s Siyahlala-la Settlement

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

This follows the Newcastle Mayor, Cllr Xolani Dube, Deputy Mayor Cllr Musa Thwala, the Newcastle Municipality’s Speaker, Cllr Thengi Zulu, and the Municipality’s Acting Municipal Manager, Zamani Mcineka meeting with the highly disgruntled residents of Siyahlala-la on Sunday, 3 July 2022.

If you recall, there has been an ongoing battle between those who have RDP homes and those who do not. This resulted in what can only be described as, chaos—with an angry mob even forcefully evicting residents from their homes, claiming the houses for themselves.

However, after years of back and forth, residents being fed various stories, it would appear that finality is on the cards. After meeting with residents, the Newcastle Municipality stated that the entity was determined to end the long-standing housing issue. 

Furthermore, the public servants included the Department for Planning and Human Settlements to assist in speeding up the process. Yet, when speaking to the residents, one issue appeared to be a common reason for no development on the matter, corruption.

When looking back, the tensions around the RDP houses rose to boiling point in October 2020, after people started protesting, demanding answers from the municipality’s previous administration.

To read the full article, click here.

However, tensions escalated even further when enraged residents set seven RDP houses alight, determined to have the Newcastle Municipality take their concerns seriously.

To read the full article, click here.

When no tangible solutions were brought forward by the Municipality by January 2021, a mob of residents began taking matters into their own hands once again.

This resulted in several residents being forced out of their homes. The mob then decided on who would receive an RDP home, resulting in a number of people being left homeless.

To read the full article, click here.

By March 2021, with the evicted residents still not having access to their houses, plans were set in motion to reclaim the homes. Such were the tensions, that one resident said, the evicted residents were prepared to use force. “Every drop of blood that is shed will be on the mayor’s hands (referring to Newcastle’s previous Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba). He has seen there is a potential war on the rise, but nothing is being done.”

To read the full article, click here.

Despite the threats, no solutions were brought about by the previous administration. However, the Newcastle Municipality’s current leadership is hoping to avert further issues and resolve the current state of affairs.

Addressing the illegal occupation of homes, Newcastle’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Thwala emphasised that stealing houses from those in need must end.

Additionally, Newcastle Mayor, Cllr Dube furthermore pointed out that the Municipality was preparing to put plans and aggressive steps into action to deal with the matter.

Images: Supplied by Newcastle Municipality

These plans involved having the illegal occupants removed and dealt with accordingly. In addition, the Municipality will also be looking at having new RDP homes built, as to cater for those who did not benefit from the previous RDP home allocation.

With the Municipality now preparing to take decisive action and finally addressing the matter, residents are now looking forward to the developments.

One resident explained, “It was the first time that the Mayor addressed the entire Siyahlala-la community on the housing issue. We were all impressed, as he was firm and ensured that the illegal occupants would be removed soon.”

While looking forward to reclaiming their homes, the person further stated that he and other residents were also glad that the municipality would ensure the illegal occupants would be catered for, with the construction of new RDP houses in the pipeline.

“We are all upbeat as we will be seeing positive changes coming into place, hopefully by August,” concluded the resident.

What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned? Share your views in the comment section below.

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