On April 14, 2023, a group of angry community members in Alexandra, Johannesburg, tore down the house of Busiswe Gloria Mngcobo, leaving her and her family without a place to live. The incident occurred after the area had experienced a power outage for several days. Unfortunately, city Power technicians could not fix the problem because Mngcobo’s house was built on cables as reported by Brielfy.
Busiswe Gloria Mngcobo, an Alexandra resident, was shocked and helpless when angry community members destroyed her house on April 14. Due to Mngcobo’s house being constructed on top of the electricity cables, City Power technicians were unable to restore power to the area, which had been without electricity for several days. Mngcobo and her family had been living in the house without realizing it was erected on top of electricity cables. She became aware of the situation when City Power representatives and a councillor alerted them to the problem.
According to Mngcobo, she and her family were completely unaware that their house had been constructed above the electricity cables until a councillor and City Power representatives brought the issue to their attention. “We had no idea until the councillor and City Power representatives informed us. They indicated that they needed to address power problems, and that the cables were found [beneath] our home,” she explained. However, Mngcobo and her family were given no notice to vacate the premises. According to EWN, they allegedly lived in the house for the past four years without paying rent after the property owner pitied them for their financial situation. Mngcobo is now unemployed and will have to find a new place to live, which will cost her R900 in rent.
Isaac Mangena, City Power spokesperson, stated that overcrowding in the North Johannesburg township had resulted in people illegally building structures on prohibited land and open spaces, including building houses close to pylons and on pavements where municipal servitudes like water, sewerage, and electricity cables run. According to him, the residents had built their houses in close proximity to pylons, which poses a risk, and also constructed them on pavements where municipal servitudes like water, sewerage, and electricity cables are present.
The councillor of Alexandra Ward 107 told News24 that while demolishing houses was regrettable, the people who built houses on top of municipal servitudes had done so illegally. It highlights the issue of illegal housing in overcrowded areas, which is a problem for City Power and local authorities. The councillor said that illegal construction was becoming a major problem in the area, and the city had to take action to stop it. The councillor suggested that the government provide affordable housing options for residents instead of letting them build illegally on prohibited land.
Photo: Twitter /@Cliff the Reporter