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Monday Jul 08, 2013

Sapoa's persistence helps resolve illegal land uses in Polokwane

The commercial and industrial property sector has won a key battle against illegal land uses in Polokwane, in Limpopo, thanks to the persistence of the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa).

Illegal land uses of concern to property owners include the erection of billboards, posting of placards and parking of trailers.

After almost a year of pursuing various channels of complaint, Sapoa finally secured a meeting with the mayor of Polokwane last week to discuss the concerns.

And, thanks to Sapoa's lobbying, the first steps have been taken to legally tackle these illegal uses.

The city's chief planner, Fanie Muleya, confirmed that a court order had been granted to impound illegal billboards.

Furthermore, the city will address all the remaining illegal activities in due course.

Sapoa's role in driving the solution has been key.

The association's chief executive, Neil Gopal, said: 'It was brought to Sapoa's attention last year that there was a growing problem with illegal land uses in Polokwane. Sapoa immediately submitted a formal complaint to the municipality. When Sapoa did not receive a response, the matter was directed to the provincial office of the public protector, which investigated and again forwarded the complaint to Polokwane municipal officials, affording them an opportunity to respond.

'When Sapoa again received no response, the decision was made to escalate the complaint to national Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela.'
Sapoa decided to make one last effort with the municipality by sending the complaint to the mayor, which resulted in the meeting.

'We look forward to a successful resolution of these issues with the help of the mayor and municipality,' said Gopal.

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)


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