Press release: Crisis in Madiba Park Greyton caused by National Department of Rural Development
The Madiba Park situation developed two years ago when a group of people were chased out of Bereaville, Genadendal. The homeless people moved to a piece of land on Farm 39 in Greyton. This portion of land is known as Madiba Park. Farm 39 is Moravian Trust Land of which the Minister of Rural Development is the custodian.
After being chased from Madiba Park too the Municipality took a humanitarian decision to accommodate the homeless people in tents on a piece of Municipal land. The people later moved back to Madiba Park without consulting the municipality. Statements that the municipality moved the people there are lies.
The people of Madiba Park requested access to basic services from the municipality. The municipality could not comply as the Minister of Rural Development has custody of the land.
The municipality on numerous occasions informed the former minister of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mr Gugile Nkwinti that the local government did not have land that was ready to move the people of Madiba Park to. The municipality constantly requested the Minister to allow the people of Madiba Park to remain there as an interim arrangement. The municipality informed the minister that it would implement interim basic services, funded by the Western Cape Government, on Madiba Park if the minister granted approval for this.
Despite the fact that the municipality and the national and provincial administrations of Rural Development agreed on how to deal with basic services on Madiba Park the Minister did not respond.
Municipal land had been identified for a housing project and the local authority commenced with the planning of an EIA process. This housing project will amongst others benefit the people of Madiba Park. This project will take two years to develop and I appeal to the current minister of Rural Development, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to approve an interim arrangement whereby the people of Madiba Park will remain there for two years.
The removal of the interim chemical toilets over the weekend was due to a misunderstanding and when I heard of it I instructed the administration to take the toilets back until more conventional ablution facilities can be implemented.
Recent media comments of politicians about this matter indicates that they are using a very sensitive and volatile situation in Greyton-area for political gain. I am concerned that political agendas might result in violence in Greyton.
As the Mayor I spoke to the community and I will do so again tonight. With the people, I will do my best to convince Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to work with the people and the municipality and to accept the municipal solution for the crisis in Madiba Park.
Enquiries: Hugo Geldenhuys