Tue, 25 Oct 1994

Rawasari Timur traders will get no compensation

JAKARTA (JP): Central Jakarta mayor Abdul Kahfi said yesterday that there will be no compensation for traders of Rawasari Timur, Central Jakarta, whose houses will be demolished to make way for the construction of public facilities.

"The mayoralty will not give any compensation for the second time because we gave it to the traders in 1989," Abdul Kahfi told reporters on the steps of city hall, adding that he did not remember the number of families who had been compensated.

Thirty traders from the market went to the City Council for the second time yesterday to protest the South Jakarta mayoralty's plan to demolish their houses today.

"We received the third demolition letter which said that the Cempaka Putih district is going to demolish our houses tomorrow," Syaifulman, spokesperson of the delegation, told the City Council's Commission A which is in charge of government, security and public order affairs.

The letter said that the land on which the traders built their houses and shops belongs to the city administration and is earmarked for public purposes, such as sidewalks, parks and gutters.

The residents said that they are willing to leave the site as long as they receive compensation from the Central Jakarta mayoralty.

The residents claimed that most of them have stayed on the site for a long time. "I have been opening my shop and living there for 20 years," Syaifulman said.

Sitorus, another trader, said that they initially lived in the area as ordinary settlers before converting their houses in stages into shops in line with the increasing number of neighbors.

Last year, they said, seven families received compensation ranging from Rp 1.5 million (US$688) to Rp 7 million depending on the width of their houses.

The figure contradicts the mayor's statement that all residents received the money.


Kahfi admitted that his office made a mistake in allowing the traders who have received money to remain at the site after receiving the compensation in 1989.

"We have appropriated the land and paid compensation to the residents in 1989," Kahfi reiterated, adding, "This is our mistake because we did not construct fences to protect the land after the compensation was paid."

He also said that an increasing number of newcomers are residing at the site.

Kahfi said his mayoralty actually had offered these traders the opportunity to move to the Rawa Kerbau market, but that this offer was turned down.

Chairman of the commission M. Aman noted that based on residents' complaints, the Central Jakarta mayoralty made two mistakes: First they did not quickly demolish the shops to relocate traders to the Rawa Kerbau market.

"The second is that the residents in the area are required to pay land and building taxes, which assumed that the mayoralty had legally recognized the existence of their buildings," Aman said. (yns)