REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL LAND OCCUPANTS OF BRAAMFONTEIN SPRUIT SANDTON & SURROUNDING AREAS

PETITION TO THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG FROM:

November 2020

We, the undersigned, being ratepayers of the City of Johannesburg, wish to draw the attention of the City of Johannesburg, to

THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF MUNICIPAL-OWNED PROPERTY ADJACENT TO FOREST FARM CENTRE ON THE WESTERN BANK OF THE, BRAAMFONTIEN SPRUIT, OPPOSITE FIELD AND STUDY CENTRE, BRYANSTON  

Owing to the lack of meaningful intervention and control by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, the municipal-owned land adjacent to Forest Farm on the corner of William Nicol and Republic Road is being over-run by illegal occupants, particularly after the recent closure of George Lea Park on the intersection of William Nicol and Sandton Drive. The closure has simply moved the illegal occupants to the next obvious piece of open land which is opposite the Field and Study Centre. More people are arriving on a daily basis. The situation is in clear contravention of the City Bylaws and cannot be allowed to continue. Our primary concerns are:

  1. The property in question now has a large divergent population from different cultural backgrounds, fighting over limited/scarce resources and subsequently engaging in faction fighting, resulting in vigilantism and settling of differences using violent means. This poses a security risk to all surrounding neighbourhoods, in particular, the disabled residents of Forest Farm Centre.
  2. The reclaimers of domestic waste, who have moved from George Lea Park, have now re-located to the municipal-owned property and have created an additional fire and health hazard as plastic rubble keeps piling up on the land and there is also frequent burning of the plastic waste.
  3. The health hazard is further exacerbated by the lack of sanitation, a rat infestation and contaminated water from the river.
  4. The population of the municipal-owned property is daily growing in numbers.  (Currently estimated at +- 350 ??). Not only local reclaimers, displaced and homeless persons and rural migrants, but also by migrants from other countries and persons trying to escape xenophobic violence.
  5. Negative impact of illegal habitation on a green belt with ecological and environmental degradation.  

We, call on the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality to address this as a matter of urgency by simply enforcing existing municipal by-laws and to curb the influx of people to the property by:       

  • Finding suitable land with the necessary amenities as an alternative to house the illegal land occupiers.           
  • Taking such legal steps to obtain the necessary Order of the Court which sets out the terms upon which eviction can take place in a manner which is just and equitable.
  • Fencing the area and,
  • Improving JMPD visibility to act as a deterrent, and,
  • Creating depots/receiving receptacles for recycled materials that are municipally controlled and enforced. Suggest depots to be established at the existing garden refuse site - at the corner of William Nicol Drive and Ballyclare Drive.

This petition has been signed by the residents of all the suburbs affected.  

We trust that you will find this appeal for assistance in the spirit of good neighbourliness and a deep commitment to resolving our social problems in a mutually supportive and co-operative way. We are at all times available for further consultation with relevant officials.


George Gabriel & Michael Meerkotter    Contact the author of the petition

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