Marikana residents verified housing beneficiaries: govt


Miners' shacks at the Nkaneng informal settlement near the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg.

MARIKANA – Residents of Marikana, near Rustenburg, have themselves verified the list of beneficiaries for 292 “breaking new ground” housing units forming part of phase one of the Marikana housing project, the North West local government and human settlements department said on Sunday.

The national human settlements department, together with the North West local government and human settlements department in partnership with Rustenburg local municipality, had embarked on an “intense and vigorous process” to verify the beneficiaries lists, spokesman Ben Bole said.

Officials from both departments and the municipality had addressed Marikana residents at a packed local community hall on Sunday, during which the beneficiaries list was “read in full view of everybody in a meeting”.

“This was verified and confirmed by residents themselves in a meeting that those listed are legitimate beneficiaries of greater Marikana area; in other words they are legitimate residents of Marikana, thereby dispelling views that the beneficiaries are not from Marikana”.

The verification process would also see the first 30 beneficiaries occupying their new houses on Monday, and the beneficiaries had been discouraged from erecting shacks in their backyards, Bole said.

“Members of the community conceded that they have been misled into believing that they had to be affiliated to a certain political party to be beneficiaries of the Marikana housing project.”

Government was satisfied with the manner in which members of the community had conducted themselves during the meeting and therefore called for “sustainable relations going forward”, he said.

The Marikana housing project was part of government’s plan to revitalise distressed mining communities, following the social accord signed by President Jacob Zuma in October 2012 as a commitment to accelerate efforts to upgrade human settlements in mining towns across the country. The second phase of the total of 2600 integrated developments would start in due course. 

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