A few residents from the Horseshoe Committee in Riverlea staged a mini silent protest as the Member of Mayoral Committee of Housing, Meshack van Wyk visited Zamimpilo Informal Settlement.
The site visit to the area took place on July 2 where the MMC and other officials of the City of Johannesburg took a tour with a few residents from Horseshoe and the Ward Councillor Basil Douglas.
The aim of the entire operation was for the MMC to see the living conditions of the people who live in Zamimpilo. The informal settlement keeps growing and Douglas has sent out emails to the various parties to raise his concerns.
Carol Cara, a resident and committee member from Horseshoe has explained that they would like the people of Zamimpilo to receive houses as they themselves have visited the settlement to find that the area is consumed with litter, sewage, illegal miners mining in the area, a den where pigs were kept, and the toxic air pollution which after being in for about an hour can give one a serious headache.
Cara gathered a few residents to picket in front of Zamimpilo so that the MMC could see their concerns on the housing and the illegal mining near the gas pipelines.
Another issue which the residents raised on that day was the high rate of crimes in the area.
According to Constable Godfrey Shikwambane from the Langlaagte Police Station, the police are aware of the criminal activity that happens in the informal settlement, however, they are unable to go into the area especially if it’s at night because there are no lights in the camp.
Van Wyk understood that the police does not have the manpower to have control over the camp as there are many illegal miners who operate with machine guns and the police can easily be ambushed.
Shikwambane asked if the City could provide legal electricity connections to the residents of Zamimpilo until the City sorts out the housing issue in Fleurhof.
“There are people here and we as the police need to protect them as well,” said Shikwambane.
Other residents added their concerns about their safety and how their lives have been affected by the growth of the camp.
Van Wyk promised that they will have a cabinet meeting to discuss the conditions of the informal settlement and then he will return with all the other relevant parties to get a final decision on a way forward for both residents of Zamimpilo and Horseshoe.
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