The construction of the new R200 million shopping complex at an impoverished village in Mpumalanga has stopped after one of the families refused to remove their graves at the site earmarked for the construction.
Businesswoman, Norah Fakude-Nkuna, who is involved in the building of the shopping centre in Marite village near Hazyview, said her company was ready to start building the complex, but the graves were in their way.
“There are many people who are not working in this area. This project will create more than 800 jobs for the locals. We were told that everyone situated in the area agreed to relocate but the family is refusing. I don’t have the powers to remove them. In fact, the local traditional leaders do have powers to deal with this matter. Soon as they give me a go ahead, we will start building the complex,” said Fakude-Nkuna.
Local traditional authority, Chief Lameck Mokoena said, “When the project was about to start, the family refused to sign the documents that would give the authorities [a right] to remove the graves.
“We have tried in vain to communicate with them, so we are now waiting for the government officials to negotiate with them. We are adamant that the government will find a way of compelling them to allow the construction to take place,” said Mokoena, who is also chairman of the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders.
Marite resident, Oupa Nkosi, accused the family of being selfish.
“It is very sad to know that there are people who are opposing development in a poverty-stricken area like this,” said Nkosi.
The family was not immediately available for comment.
– African Eye News Service
Source: Times Live