Government housing evictions to start soon

Evictions from different state houses in the North West province are expected to start some time before August end, the provincial public works department said today.

Public works MEC spokesman Matshube Mfoloe said the department was in the process of getting a court order to evict public servants living illegally in government houses and apartments in the province. This included 55 households in Mafikeng alone.

Evictions would be rolled out in four phases as per the four districts in the province. The first phase was the Ngaka Modiri-Molema District, which included Mafikeng. The districts of Bojanala Platinum, Ruth Mompati and Dr Kenneth Kaunda would follow.

Some public servants were illegal occupants because they were in arrears with their rental or the house was not in their name.

Many tenants were in arrears of between R10 000 and R290 000, which exceeded the value of some houses.

Tenants were refusing to pay because they claimed they were the rightful owners of the house.

Housing had allegedly been passed from generation to generation by tenants and it was hard to say who the real occupant of the property was.

In theory, tenants were required to hand over their key to the department upon moving, retirement or death.

In reality, many public servants were allegedly sub-letting the property as an extra source of income or letting family and friends move in.

Mfoloe said that the department had not properly controlled a record of which houses were allocated to public servants over the years and were trying to correct this.

A property register with control checks would hopefully come into place after evictions.

Housing for public servants, as well as the maintenance thereof, is subsided by the government. A government apartment with three bedrooms in the North West province is rented for about R1200 a month. Public servants pay the rental as well as water and lights

Sapa

Article from: www.businessday.co.za