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EFF Free State Demands Formalization of Informal Settlements in Mangaung

Published March 21, 2024
2 months ago

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Free State have taken to the streets of Mangaung in a concerted effort to push for the formalization of informal settlements, a battle cry for basic human dignities long denied to many residents. The march was aimed squarely at the Department of Human Settlements, where the EFF representatives proposed to present a memorandum encompassing their demands.

The scene was charged with the fervor of activism, as community members and EFF supporters gathered, brandishing placards and chanting slogans, calling for immediate action from governmental bodies. The heart of their discontent lies with the Department of Human Settlements, which, according to the EFF, has failed its citizens by returning a colossal sum of around 600 million rand back to the National Treasury instead of utilizing it for the intended purpose of developing housing for the people.

Mpho Ramatlama, EFF Mangaung Secretary, voiced the frustrations of many, iterating that the sum was meant to alleviate the living conditions of Free State residents. The allegations imply a mismanagement of funds and priorities on the part of the department, pointing to a systemic issue where bureaucracy trumps basic human needs.

The memorandum handed over detailed a list of demands, chiefly amongst them, the need for immediate commencement of construction efforts to transform the informal settlements into formalized, habitable areas. This includes not only housing but also the implementation of essential services such as water, electricity, sanitation, and road infrastructure.

The settlement formalization issue in Mangaung reflects a broader and more pervasive problem facing South Africa, where urban sprawl and rapid migration to cities have outpaced the government's ability to provide adequate housing and infrastructure. Communities often find themselves in limbo, situated on undeveloped land with none of the services that a formalized settlement would typically provide.

The EFF's action in Mangaung may serve as a catalyst for similar movements across the country, highlighting the urgency of addressing housing crises in South Africa. It places the spotlight on the Human Settlements Department, which now faces public scrutiny over its handling of allocated funds and the apparent disconnect between its actions and the dire needs of the populace.

Citizens and political observers alike await the response from the department, which is now under pressure to account for the unused funds and, more importantly, to take concrete steps towards improving the living conditions in informal settlements. The EFF's march in Mangaung is not just about housing; it's a stand for transparency, accountability, and the fulfillment of promises made by those in power.

This news event shines a light on the struggles for adequate housing in South Africa and calls for reforms that prioritize the well-being of citizens and the efficient use of public funds to solve enduring problems.

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