Port Elizabeth – Land invaders, who had set up residence on municipal land in Wells Estate and Motherwell, will now be remunerated for their damaged belongings, after their informal dwellings were demolished.
The controversial motion, which was tabled by ANC councillor Rory Riordan, and seconded by Mkhuseli Ntsila of the United Front (UF), was passed during the city’s final council meeting on Thursday.
The same council meeting saw mayor Athol Trollip and Council Speaker, Jonathan Lawack, survive motions of no confidence brought against them.
Riordan’s motion had five items, namely:
- That the city manager should investigate whether municipal staff misled the court regarding the eviction court order, and if they had, then they and those who instructed them must face disciplinary processes.
- That the court order either be appealed against, reviewed or whatever the city manager believed to be correct, with the intention of revoking the broad interdict.
- That the affected community be contacted, meaningful dialogue begun and an interim solution to their housing needs agreed on and effected. This could involve making land available.
- That the affected community be compensated for both the destruction of their building material and for the pain and suffering inflicted on them by the eviction.
- That, in future, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality may not approach the courts for an eviction order, without a majority decision having been taken by all councillors who had been fully informed regarding the issues.
Before the motion was tabled, city manager Johann Mettler labelled the motion as incompetent and warned that any reimbursement would be deemed fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and that councillors could be held personally liable.
Despite his warning, the motion carried, with 60 votes in favour, with the ANC (49), EFF (6), UDM (2), PA (1), AIC (1) and UF (1) voting in favour.
The DA (57) and ACDP (1) voted against the motion, with each councillor noting their individual objection.
Siyasanda Sijadu of the Congress of the People (COPE) abstained from voting.