The honeymoon of Grootfontein residents who stay in council properties without paying fees as well as occupying and building illegal structures on townland will soon be over .
This is because the municipality seeks to recoup what it has lost over the years through lawlessness and lackadaisical administrative processes.
All residents who live in council properties will be required to sign new lease agreements, while previous ones will be reviewed in an effort to recover all outstanding payments.
Those found to have defaulted will need to make payment arrangements, while failure to do so will see legal action being instituted, coupled with evictions. On the other hand, individuals found residing and having
occupied land illegally will be compelled to purchase and pay the plots based on gazetted rates for 2020/21. Legal action will be taken against uncooperative individuals.
These recommendations are contained in a legal advisory document from lawyers Kangueehi and Kavendjii Incorporated, as the municipality forges ahead to restore order and clean the administrative mess which haunted the once-flourishing town.
Meanwhile, CEO Kisco Sinvula earlier this week said council started implementing some of the recommendations, although they are doing it step-by-step due to the complexity of some cases.
The municipality has for years endured revenue losses, unabated land grabbing, as well as dubious land dealings, many driven from inside council chambers.
Hundreds of residents occupied properties without paying a cent, while some settled on land and built permanent structures
without authorisation, all attributed to poor administration. This was according to a ministerial audit report, which unearthed the rot created by staff and past council leaderships.
“Ensure that applicants who bought land through council (and for whom) ministerial approval was granted are notified to sign the deed of sale and pay off the outstanding amounts. Those who are illegally on erven and have constructed permanent structures are held liable for penalties determined by council,” stressed the lawyers.
“In this regard, letters should be urgently sent out to the applicants, notifying them of the penalties to be levied. In addition, those who have lost legally obtained erven and lost them to people who have constructed illegal structures should be provided with alternative plots. However, council must proceed with caution, as it might
be faced with a lack of land,” reiterated Kangueehi and
Having uncovered all the irregularities, the municipality has been advised to identify a reception area and fast-track the relocation of all illegal occupants after determining the lease rates.
To the delight of residents who have been dreaming of having land to settle on, the municipality was told to prioritise first-time buyers.
“Ensure that applicants who
have already benefitted from council land as first-time buyers, including those who have re-sold erven, should not be considered for land allocation.”
The lawyers then said a comprehensive audit report must be conducted regarding land sales, and those found to have transgressed should be held accountable.