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 Kameeldrift - Onwettige bestetting - Brief aan Premier van die Noordwes.

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PostSubject: Kameeldrift - Onwettige bestetting - Brief aan Premier van die Noordwes.   Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:06 pm

08 June 2012
Office of the Premier – Ms Thandi Modise
MEC Human Settlements - Ms D. Mohono


SAPA Media report April 14 2012 (Attached) – refers.

RE: ILLEGAL LAND INVASION OF THE FARM KAMEELDRIFT 211 JQ PORT 454 AND 455 SITUATED IN THE MADIBENG (BRITS) LOCAL MUNICIPALITY .

From Saturday 21 April 2012, informal settlers started erecting shacks 35 km north of Brits, adjacent to the Brits/Thabazimbi tar road – R511.
After several requests the farmers of Kameeldrift had a meeting on the 1st of June 2012 with Councilor N. Rakolle, MMC of Community Services, Madibeng, DPW, Ms P Rhabuthata and officials from Organized Agriculture. Unfortunately the officials of OA was denied a chance to speak during the meeting by Clr Rakolle, to the dismay of the local farmers that attended.
At the meeting it became quite clear that DPW only became aware of the invasion after farmers contacted Ms Phulani Rabuthata at DPW. From the 21st of April up to date this number has grown to 145 houses. No rezoning from Agricultural to Township is evident. We also failed to obtain evidence that Madibeng Council was made aware of this private initiative. The farmers adjacent to these farms were also not engaged or consulted. Clr Rakolle who is spearheading this initiative was adamant at the meeting that consultation was not necessary and that the settling of the informal settlers will go ahead.
According to Clr Rakolle, he was not aware that the number of informal settlers had grown from the 7 households from the area and the 5 households from Pansdrift he intended to re-locate to this property, to 145 dwellings, that is currently erected, and growing daily. This seems highly unlikely as the Local Municipality of Madibeng is providing water to the informal settlement with water trucks from the Municipality - at the cost of the Rate Payers of Brits - and therefore the number of dwellers should be well known to the Municipality. Farm workers from farms in the area says that the settlers are coming from as far as Lethabile and Hartbeesfontein, where they are now renting out their houses in order to obtain plots in Kameeldrift.
The farm is situated in an area defined as high potential irrigation land as being specified in the MADIBENG SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT FRAME WORK. The development and directives for high potential agricultural land specifies:
1) No other activities other than agriculture shall be permitted on high potential agricultural land
2) No township establishment shall be permitted on high potential agricultural land.
Food security is already under pressure in South Africa and potential agricultural land can therefore not be justified for informal settling. No infra structure (electricity, water, sewage, schools) exist on the above mentioned farm. The land is adjacent to the Roodekopjes dam and the slope is towards the dam. The danger of increase pollution to the dam in the absence of a well developed sewage system is a reality that cannot be ignored. The farm consist of ± 36 ha (high potential lands) with a total of 17 ha scheduled water exclusively for irrigation purposes. The total size of the 2 portions is 107 ha with Roodekopjes dam claiming more than a half of port 454. The soil type, Glencoe with clay content of 10 %, is in high demand and adjacent farmers are using centre pivot irrigation to cultivate their crops consisting of tobacco, wheat, soybeans, citrus, grapes and vegetables. .
A township situated on high potential agricultural ground can become an enormous health risk for the reason of the drifting of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides during the application process by both high pressure mist blowers and aerial application.
The farm is also next to the very busy and poorly maintained Brits/Thabazimbi road and is divided from GREENS stores by the Brits/Beestekraal railway line. No pedestrian crossing exists or can be introduced due to the high volume of traffic and heavy vehicles that utilize this route.

The Local Municipality of Madibeng will also inevitably become responsible for the financial burden of infrastructure establishment. A well developed area for housing with existing infrastructure are situated 12 km from Kameeldrift in the Hartebeesfontein area for possible expansion to accommodate the settlers that already started erecting dwellings. From the 21st of April to date about 145 dwellings were erected and further portions are already marked out for allocation. Reports from farmer workers in the area are that plots are made available for R500 per plot, and in some cases for a 2l of Coke.
The local police in the area are already stretch to their limits and would not be able to cope with the influx of new settlers. The added workload and the problems that may arise due to lack of employment and lack of schooling as well as the possible security risk to farmers and businesses will put additional stress on the SAPD.
No employment opportunities exist in the area, which makes this an extremely high crime risk. Theft and robberies at fishing spots in the area has already been reported. The farmers also made it abundantly clear that any act of violence on their properties will be laid squarely at the door of DPW because of the departments inability to, as the custodian of this property to act against this illegal invasion, as well as the Local Municipality of Madibeng, as they are through their actions and inability to act, condoning this illegal invasion.
Clr Elsa Lourens
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