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2015-05-05 06:00

The upgrading of rental flats in Manenberg is well underway, despite the issues that brought it to a complete standstill late last year, according to a subcouncil 11 report.

The report issued states that the 1584 units to be upgraded were split into three groups (A, B and C) for operational purposes.

Group A has already been refurbished, while all but one, Aletta Court, in the second group have been completed. The rest is set to be completed by mid-April.

Work on the blocks of flats in Group C has “cautiously recommenced” at Eva and Dina courts, after it was suspended due to sporadic gang-related violence in the area and extreme vandalism.

Councillor Benedicta van Minnen, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, confirmed despite “intermittent work stoppages, work is currently in progress” and says 1470 units have been completed. She says Manenberg A is complete, and Manenberg B and Manenberg C is to be completed by mid-April.

Van Minnen says the delay was mostly due to vandalism. “An application for additional funding for the repairs of the buildings, delays caused to the project, and security for the contractor to proceed, also needed approval from local government.”

She says the project that created about 4000 jobs is almost completed.

According to Lieutenant Ian Bennet, spokesperson of the Manenberg police, the vandalising of the blocks of flats to be refurbished over the festive season hugely impacted the return of residents to the flats.

He says despite the spate in gang violence in the area, the stripping of flats in the process of being renovated is a private security matter of the contractors and not one for the police.

“The prolonged stay of the residents in the temporary accommodation villages (containers) definitely impacted the community negatively with an increase in criminal activity at these villages where some are still being housed. We maintain a high visibility in especially these areas.”

Rugchanda Pascoe of the Manenberg Community Safety Forum says they are in regular contact with the gang leaders in the area and react immediately to try and diffuse potentially violent situations

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