Row over housing sparks walkout

2010-09-06 00:00

A COMMUNITY meeting called by Eastwood ward councillor Mzwakhe Dladla descended into chaos over the issue of housing in the area.

Eventually Dladla closed the meeting. Those present said it was the usual stand-off between Fred Wagner’s Eastwood Community Forum and the councillor.

Dladla was addressing the meeting when Wagner stood up and wanted to talk. He was not allowed to and walked out, followed by several of his supporters.

Brenda Patrick, who is on the Eastwood Housing Forum, said the community wanted clarification that the residents from the Jika Joe informal settlement would not be settled on vacant land near Glenwood. They also wanted the councillor to support their cause for RDP housing to be constructed on the land for poor, homeless people in Eastwood.

Dladla said it was not that he prevented anyone from talking, but at that point he was addressing the meeting. He added that his door was open to the Eastwood Community Forum and that Patrick had held meetings with him.

He said that there was no truth in the rumours that the residents of Jika Joe were to be relocated to the site.

However, he said that contary to the forum’s wishes, the site has been earmarked in the municipality’s Integrated Develpment Plan (IDP) for social housing and not RDP housing. Dladla said there are procedures to follow to request changes. He agreed that it might be best to get somebody from the municipality’s new adminstration to explain this to the residents.

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