Access to decent housing remains an unattainable dream for residents of the small community of Ga-Makua settlement outside Groblersdaal in Limpopo, 27 years into democracy. The village started decades ago when farm workers settled on a farm.

The community has no electricity and sanitation and lives in mud houses. They allege that the owner of the farm has been barring government structures from rendering services in the area.

Patrick Makua and Mapula Mohlape, who are part of the third generation of residents of the farm, feel they have hit a brick wall in their attempts to seek development for the area.

They say officials from the local Elias Motsoaledi Municipality have told them that without written consent from the landowner, government is unable to render any service to the area.

“Our lives are not safe, we have gone many times to the municipality to ask for help but we don’t get the help they say the farm owner refuses because it’s his land so I don’t know where to go. We don’t have any place to go we stay here we grow here,” says a resident.

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“The housing is really bad, if it’s raining the housing is falling down and we are still going to toilet in the wild,” says another resident.

Spokesperson of the Elias Motsoaledi Municipality, Simon Makua says their hands are tied as all agreements reached with the landowner have thus far never been implemented as the landowner always reneges on them.

“At our last meeting we agreed that when the municipality brings service there, he must write a consent letter but to our surprise when we tried to take VIP toilets from Sekhukhune to gaMakua he refused us to enter that area, he said he don’t want anything in his private land. The title deed belongs to the landowner and as government, it is a challenge to render services on privately owned land,” says Makua.

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