Council must sell serviced land direct to people

The issue of land has been a thorny one since the ANC government came into power 20 years ago. It is without doubt that it is going to remain on the agenda for many years to come as long as it is not addressed. Land changes lives and people’s economic status. In urban areas, where many have received land in the form of RDP houses, profiles have been changed from un-bankable to bankable. When Zevenfontein was destroyed and its residents relocated to properly constructed houses on sizeable pieces of land, those residents’ lives changed for the better in a big way. Today they have built back-rooms and have become landlords earning up to a R1000 per room.
If one drives around the RDP extension you will be amazed with the kind of extensions that people have done to their houses and you realize what restricted them while they were in Zevenfontein – lack of land.
It is time that City Council must consider selling serviced land to people. Almost every piece of land that the City acquires or has, is sold to Developers who then resale that land in packaged housing deals that confined our people to perpetual poverty. Some of the extended house in the bonded extension would fetch millions if they were in rich areas. The argument is that if City Council sold serviced land to people, many would not be imprisoned by bank bonds that forever tie them to a type of house they never liked in the first place.
With serviced land one would design their own houses right from the foundation level and build slowly but surely using funds from selected choices including from their pockets. If for instance one extension in Cosmo City was sold as serviced land – we would be having a different type of house owners than we have today. East Rand, before it was Ekurhuleni, sold serviced land in places like Dawn Park. Other municipalities like Tshwane, do sell serviced land and people there are taking their time to build beautiful properties.

Search for Face of Cosmo begins

By Clementine Mogami

Young women came in their numbers at the Cosmo City Multipurpose Centre on last Saturday to do a screen test for the running of the new Face of Cosmo City 2014 competition. Girls and ladies aged from about 16 to 26, in their beautiful clothes and make-up, got ready for the cat walk and pose at about 14Hr00. The girls needed to convince the audience why they deserve to be the face of Cosmo.
Tebogo Sheela, founder of Tee Models and Image Consulting, organized ladies from Tee Models and used social network to give details of how others can also enter this pageant. One of the contestants, Boineelo Molebiemang a third year journalism student at the University of Johannesburg, said that she joined the competition because she wants to make a positive difference in the media industry. “I am passionate and my heart is married to modeling. I also want to inspire young people who want to be models,” said the 22 year old Molebiemang. She concluded that “modeling is not only about having a beautiful face. If you have brains and a beautiful body, you can still do it.”
The organizer of the pageant, Richard Ntjana, said they have not yet finalized on winner prizes. “We have not yet finalized what the winner will get but the top 10 will definitely get bursaries,” said Ntjana. He also explained that there will be an SMS line that the viewers will use to vote for their favourite contestants when the video clips start being shown on SABC1’s Yo.TV in September after the final auditions to be held at the beginning of September.
Ntjana and Sheela were also on Metro fm with Sibusiso Leope, popularly known as Dj Sbu, this past Saturday to promote the pageant. John Ingleby from Yo.TV said that there will be a celebrity panel of judges at the finals but the list has not yet been finalized. “However, Akhumzi Jezile, former Yo.TV presenter and actor, confirmed with us that he will definitely be the MC,” said Ingleby. The finals will take place at the Multipurpose Centre on Saturday, 27 September 2014. The new face of Cosmo City will be crowned on that day.

Dead body dumped in another man’s yard

By Clementine Mogami

Lyborn Ndou, a Ward Committee Member for Transport, was woken up by his neighbour to the shock of his life, a body of a man had been dumped into his yard. On this Monday,11 August, at about 06Hr20, Ndou’s neighbour, Jolene Sia, saw a dead man’s body lying in the back yard when she out to fetch water. The extension 4 neighbourhood was shocked by this bizarre event.
Jolene Sia, said she did not hear any abnormal noises at night. “I didn’t hear any noises last night but when I went outside in the morning to fetch water, I saw a man lying there and I ran to knock on Lyborn’s door to tell him,” said Sia.
Ndou said he woke up at about 02Hr00 when he thought he heard noises of someone crying for help but thought it was from another street. “I thought of switching on the lights and go outside to check what was happening but then I thought that it might be drunk people walking down the other street,” said Ndou. “I was shaken to wake up in the morning and find a dead man in my yard” he added with disbelief. Ndou also said that the man, who he thought was crying for help, sounded like he was running out of breath as his cries were dying away at each interval. So this led him (Ndou) to assume that something bad had already been done to the man. “Up to now, I have no idea why they threw this body into my yard” he said.
Ndou called the police to report the incident and by the time the police arrived, community members had already gathered to watch and some of them took pictures of the body with their phones. The pictures shown to this reporter seem to indicate that the head of the deceased and his left pinky finger had been skinned a bit. His eyes were gorged out, his tongue and a bit of his right ear, wear cut out as well.
There were traces of blood outside in front of a house two blocks away from Ndou’s home. Community members gathered around Ndou’s house, wanting to know the details of what had happened and of the deceased. Mme Gladys Tlhapa and Pastor Fhatuwani Luvhengo from SANCO leadership went to the place of the scene as soon as Ndou had contacted them. The councilor, Mme Nonny Raphata heard about the incident much later and arrived as the Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service were about to take the body away.
One community member, who did not want his identity to be known, speculated that there might be a specific reason why the body of the deceased was thrown in Ndou’s yard. “Perhaps it is a message from the killer(s) to him that he is next or they might have used the deceased as an example to silence him about whatever they think he has on them. There are many houses that do not have fences around here; why did they skip those houses and chose Ndou’s house?” asked the community member.
The police on the scene did not have authority to speak to the media. We could not obtain their official comment by the time of going to press.

Electric surge ignites an RDP house

On Sunday 27 of July, a house in extension 6, close to Blue Roof High School, was burnt down. The cause of the fire is believed to be the result of an electric surge that ignited the stove that was left on when the electricity went off on Friday evening.
“I was there when it all happened and it is sad that there was nothing I could do, I did not have anything to use to save my house” said Clement Mungai the owner of the house. “Everything inside the four rooms was burnt down; beds, clothes, a refrigerator, everything, was burnt down to ashes” he said. “I am not employed and I don’t know where I will start or where I am going to find the money to rebuild these four rooms and where my tenants are going to go” he lamented.
Clement had extended his house with four additional rooms which he rented out. Those four rooms have been his source of income.
“All of the tenants’ belongings we burnt down, including their identification documents” said Pinky, a ward committee member. “Residents should switch off their appliances and plugs whenever the electricity goes off because sometimes when it comes back, it comes with a lot of power which can cause damage” said Pinky.
One of the tenants, is Oliver Chibanga who runs a motor mechanic business from home. Mduduzi Ndlovu, Chibanga’s co-worker said “I don’t know how we are going to run our business because all of our machines were inside Oliver’s room, including our client’s car keys. Repaying our clients is going to be difficult for us too because we will have to need to buy our machines first to be able to work again then pay our clients” he said apparently calculating a lengthy and difficult period ahead.
Mandisa Majwede from an NGO called Themba community development service was there to offer her support to Clement and his tenants. “We are going to trying by all means to help Clement to rebuild her house and also to help his tenants with some old furniture and clothes. Anyone in the community who has appliances or old cloths that he doesn’t need can also donate them to the victims” she appealed.

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