26/06/2016: Alex land dispute over at last
The protracted land dispute between the City of Johannesburg and more than 2 500 Alexandra property owners that had for several years put infrastructure development on hold, has finally been resolved.
Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau and the property owners have today (25 June 2016) signed a “statement of intent” as an agreement in principle to end the impasse.
As part of the agreement, each claimant will be provided with a solution equivalent to the monetary compensation that might be payable in respect of the property concerned.
The monetary compensation will be based on a proper land valuation process in accordance with applicable government policy.
Each claimant can select one of four options equivalent in value to the monetary compensation determined in respect of the property in question.
The four options are:
Provision of title deeds for stands in Alexandra;
Provision of alternative stands;
Participation in a planned re-development of Alexandra; and
Based on an assumption that all the 2 538 property owners will apply for monetary compensation, it is estimated that it will cost the government between R1.8-billion and R2-billion to implement the agreement.
Other stakeholders in the matter include the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, Alexandra Land and Property Owners Association (ALPOA), Alexandra Property Owners Rights (APOR), South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO) and the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR).
Executive Mayor Tau hinted that a resolution to the dispute was on the cards during a Bua Le Sechaba campaign in Alexandra about a week ago.
In 2005, large-scale government development initiatives under the Alexandra Renewal Project were stalled when a group of property owners obtained a court interdict stopping any infrastructure development from taking place in the old section of the township.
Several meetings were held between the property owners and the government – including the City – and a breakthrough was reached in October last year when the parties signed a “declaration of intent” aimed at paving the way to the resumption of infrastructure development plans.
Cllr Tau said during a meeting with Alexandra residents last week that a resolution to the dispute would result in more land being acquired for development in the township.
Issued by the City of Johannesburg
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