Ekurhuleni: Mayor Masina To Relocate Residents Of Jerusalem Informal Settlement


Ekurhuleni Mayor Masina, Mzwandile has assured the residents of Jerusalem informal settlement that his municipality is working hard to have them relocated as soon as possible.

The mayor said this is to avoid loss of life as the more than 100 year old mine shaft has now opened up due to the recent rains.

The decision by the Ekurhuleni Mayor Masina follows the unsuccessful rescue of a five-year-old Richard Thole who was trapped in the shaft in the Jerusalem settlement since Saturday.

The little boy fell into an open mineshaft in Witfield, on the East Rand, over the weekend while playing around the area.

He fell into the shaft between 12:00 and 13:00 on Saturday and since then, Rescue South Africa helped with the operation, even though at that time, the ground around the shaft was too unstable as at late hours of Saturday.

Mayor Masina however, noted that of the more than 2,000 families that reside in Jerusalem, they can only move 200 to the Ramaphosa informal settlement at the moment.

He says this area is the safest and closest to where most residents work.

“The time has come for the community to move from that area because it’s unsafe. I can confirm we’re looking to the nearest area, such as the Ramaphosa informal settlement.”

The mayor says he has roped in the help of the Defence Department to explore other avenues in further attempts to retrieve the five-year-old.

While the municipality continues to work on ways to move the Jerusalem informal settlement residents, SA government is equally working on moves to take to ensure lands are returned to their true owners.

The law on land expropriation which the president, Jacob Zuma promised to fast-track in order to effectively see true owners taking back their lands without compensation, has been long debated in the parliament as South Africans lament the slow pace the law is taking before being put into action.

EFF commander-in-chief, Julius Malema who seems impatient on the approach taken by government on the matter, charged South Africans to take any land of their choice.

Speaking to the parliament on in the mid hours of Tuesday, Malema said the land expropriation without compensation was needful for the sake of black African unity and that this must not be used as a politicking tactics.

The land expropriation was announced by Jacob Zuma during his 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) where he said that government was doing its best in amending laws that would enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the constitution.