Johannesburg – The Red Ants have charged the City of Joburg R10.6 million for three days’ work that was done last year.
This emerged recently at the High Court when the issue over payment was raised before a judge. The case was however struck from the roll.
According to the court papers, the city was invoiced R10 653 080.32 for ‘eviction, relocation and security services’ on May 2, 23 and 31 last year.
The papers did not detail the work for which the company was demanding payment. It also did not respond to press requests for comment.
City of Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said: “It is not clear to the city what these invoices relate to, and the court will make a determination.”
He however added that large-scale evictions took place around the city on the days mentioned.
According to reports, shack dwellers in Mayibuye were left homeless after the Red Ants burnt down their lodgings on May 2; as were residents of Lenasia South, when the Red Ants destroyed newly built houses in Lenasia South on May 23. On May 31 the Red Ants demolished homes in Alexandra, which sparked community anger that led to a shutdown of the township.
For what it was charged, the municipality could buy close to 100 Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses.
In a 2018, the minister of human settlements said the average cost of constructing a fully subsidised house in Gauteng was R116 000, pointing out that the cost of the raw land was R6 000, and fitting the site with water and sanitation infrastructure cost R7 673.
From the figures, R10 653,080.32 would cover the cost of 91 RDP houses; the cost of the land, water and sanitation infrastructure and construction for 82 of these homes.
Last year the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority suspended the Red Ants’ registration after claims that it had flouted the law during the Alexandra evictions. The courts, however later lifted the ban on its operations.