Lifestyle compromised by squatters

The beautiful scenery in Constantia Kloof that has been compromised by shacks. Photo: Siso Naile.

The incredible Constantia Kloof green belt scenery is fast becoming an eyesore.

This follows the mushrooming of an illegal squatter camp on the greenbelt, adjacent to the Koppie on 14th Avenue.

The problem has caused unrest in the community as residents feel that their properties and security is being compromised.

“I am worried they are damaging the value of my property as well as becoming a security risk to my family, Ricky Rozanski, a concerned resident complained.

Rozanski, who recently bought a property on the Constantia Kloof Koppie, bordering the 14th Avenue Shopping Centre, told Northsider that he noticed the campsite of illegal squatters while shopping at a nearby local shopping centre.

Also Read: When will Ruimsig squatters be relocated?

A flabbergasted Rozanski raised questions about the protection of the greenbelt after learning that the squatters are living there without basic health services like water and sanitation.

These little structures are evidence that people have established their homes on the Constantia Kloof Koppie. Photo: Siso Naile.

“Now surely this is a green belt and is meant to remain protected. How can this be allowed?” he asked. “They have neither running water nor anywhere to go to the loo,” he stressed. “I am worried they are damaging the value of my property as well as becoming a security risk to my family,” he added.

At least a score of dwellings have been erected so far. The structures are made out of wood, plastic and old metal.

Rozanski also appealed to the relevant authority to deal with the matter before he ends up with an informal settlement at his doorstep.

Another resident who wished to remain anonymous complained that he goes in circles whenever he reports this matter to JMPD or police. “It’s so difficult to resolve this matter because they [JMPD and Police] blame each other when you lodge a complaint. Police say I should report the matter to JMPD and JMPD says I should go to the police,” a frustrated resident explained.

Gary March, the chairperson of the Constantia Kloof Residents Forum, said the matter has been reported numerous times at Community Policing Forum meetings in Florida and the illegal dwellers were cleaned out at some stage and some of their items even removed from the site. However, he said the problem is they return again a day later.

Ward 89 councillor Amelia Bester also weighed in on the crisis. “We have asked JMPD for assistance with crime prevention and by-law enforcement in this regard on numerous occasions. They [JMPD] have in return referred us to City Parks and Zoo,” she explained. Bester added that the land is up for adoption. “This is one of the public open spaces up for adoption. I hope to entice business and residents to buy in to reclaim this spot for use by residents in the form of a walking trail or nature reserve,” she concluded.

For more information, email Ward 89 councillor Amelia Bester at [email protected]

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

 

  AUTHOR
Siso Naile
Journalist

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