Protests over a Boystown housing project flared up for the second time this year in Crossroads on Wednesday as residents accused the ward councillor and steering committee of fraudulently selling houses.
The project, for which the planning began around 2005, has been delayed many times due to community infighting.
On Wednesday about 100 residents protest burnt tyres in an open area between their shacks where the Phase 2 houses are supposed to be built and the completed Phase One houses.
The residents, who are supposed to move to make way for the construction of houses, accuse the project steering committee and ward councillor Elese Depoutch of selling the Phase One RDP houses for as little as R1 000 to people from other areas.
The residents demanded a report back on Phase One before ground for Phase Two was broken.
“We won’t rest until we get our houses back. The majority of the people who live in Phase One bought the houses from our councillor and those people are not from the area. We demand change because it is clear Depoutch is corrupt,” said a woman who refused to give her named after seven men, believed to be Depoutch’s bodyguards, arrived at the scene.
Depoutch said the people who were accusing him of corruption were those who did not qualify to receive a RDP house and some of them were new to the area and wanted to benefit.
“I have nothing to do with the allocations, there is a committee that is doing that. My job is just to monitor the situation,” he said.
A 62-year-old woman who claims to be a Phase One beneficiary, said the project steering committee told her to move her shack to make a way for Phase Two.
“What I did not understand is why I have to move for the second time. I have papers stating that I belong to Phase One and when I moved I was told that I would be returned to my plots once the project is finished,” said the woman.
Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s spokesperson Bruce Oom said it was common that people who did not qualify for RDP houses alleged corruption or unfair allocation.
Bruce said Madikizela was aware of the allegations and has repeatedly asked that anyone with proof to contact the Department and he will investigate.
“Until this time no one has come forward with any proof, and so there is no investigation. If there is corruption or fraud, then people must also go to their local police station to lay a charge,” he said. — Nombulelo Damba