GALLERY: West a sanctuary for squatters?

An illegal squatter camp. Photo: Kayla van Petegem

Fears were voiced recently about the west of Pretoria becoming a sanctuary for squatters.

Chairperson of the Mountain View CPF Noekie Salmon said the necessary support from the metro was not forthcoming to remove the intruders.

“This remains a great eyesore and issue in our area, she said.

DA ward councillor Elma Nel said the number of squatter camps in her ward had become a grave concern.

“The last few months we have seen an increase of squatter camps in the area,” she said.

Nel said the moment a shack was erected, a court order was required for the eviction to be legal.

“If the empty property belongs to the metro, the offices of the municipal executive head must issue a court order,” she said.

She asked residents to inform the metro immediately when a shack was erected.

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“As soon as a complaint is laid, the metro police can go out to the site,” she said.

Some residents went so far as to say that the west of Pretoria had become a mecca for illegal squatters.

Salmon said illegal squatting affected residents as well as businesses.

“Human waste and urine have turned this spot into a health hazard,” said Salmon.

“I think the health risk develops wherever they squat because there are no sanitation facilities.”

Crime in the area of the new camp was another concern.

“It will increase because most of the squatters come from or was kicked out of informal settlements, like Gamorrah, in the area,” she said.

Rekord previously reported that a local volunteer crime fighter, Eric Cordier, came across a shack suspected to be used for prostitution.

He discovered the shack during one of his patrols in Schutte Street.

ALSO READ: West squatters evicted a second time

“The shack was just big enough for people to lie in and it was held together with sticks and linen,” he previously said.

“Underwear and condoms were lying everywhere.”

The hut had since been destroyed and the area was cleaned up by the metro.

Another illegal camp was located by a ward councillor in Sarel Avenue in April.

“We were following up on a complaint that was laid,” councillor, Frik van Wyk previously said.

He says people living there recycled garbage that they collected.

“Nobody saw the squatters because they were hidden between trees and long grass,” said Van Wyk.

“Although these people are actually doing us a favour with their recycling, we had to ask them to leave.”

The Tshwane metro could not be reached for comment.

 

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  AUTHOR
Kayla van Petegem

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