WALMER township residents have given Minister of Cooperative Governance Richard Baloyi less than a month to come up with an action plan to acquire land needed to build RDP houses.
Residents threatened that if the government did not present them with a plan within 21 days, they would invade the Walmer Country Club, which the city was eyeing for development.
Baloyi, together with national and provincial officials, including Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane, met residents at the Walmer High School hall yesterday following a series of service delivery protests in the area earlier this year.
Community leader Mbulelo Tulman said the township had been struggling for 20 years without proper housing and electricity.
He said one of the problems was the traces of toxic methane gas in the Airport Valley area in the township, which they believed made people sick.
"Walmer has the highest rate of TB but this is not addressed," Tulman said.
In 2004, a geo-technical investigation was conducted by the municipality which found traces of methane gas emissions on the site.
This led to the cancellation of a housing development project after the area was declared a "ticking time- bomb" and found to be unsuitable for human habitation.
Addressing mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, Tulman said the human settlements department in the metro should be dissolved and new officials appointed as they were delaying housing solutions and did not provide the community with feedback.
"In reality, the challenge in Walmer is the land to build the houses."
He said municipal officials had never engaged managers of the country club.
"They are liars," he said.
"As the community of Walmer, we say there is an alternative ... people are suffering from the methane gas and need to be moved away.
"We agree, as a community, they must be taken from the danger zone and be moved to that land by next month.
"If November comes around with no solution, we will invade the land.
"In 21 days we should meet and study your progress," Tulman said.
Qoboshiyane asked the community leaders to lead them to where people were dying of TB.
"There must be a discussion so we can hear your pain. Let's bite the bullet and not lift [the] foot off the accelerator, but do things in a well- mannered way."
He said they would facilitate a discussion with the country club managers so that after 21 days they could get a draft report with the legalities to kick-start discussions and what options were available.
Bayoli said the government serviced the needs of the people. "We adopted a policy to think first about people, Batho Pele.
"What is key when we draw priorities of servicing people, we interact with the people."
He said the government also ensured they were accountable, transparent, efficient and developmental with the sole intention of changing lives for the better.
Baloyi and the officials were also due to visit Motherwell and Uitenhage, another two service delivery hotspots, but were unable to do so because earlier meetings had run late.