When will houses come?

2015-07-28 15:35
Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu Western Cape’s secretary addresses Heideveld community members at the Cathkin community centre.

Earl Haupt

Tony Ehrenreich, Cosatu Western Cape’s secretary addresses Heideveld community members at the Cathkin community centre. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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Angry Heideveld community members have expressed their disgust at what they say is a further delay in their proposed housing allocation by the City of Cape Town.

Beneficiaries of the Heideveld infill housing project gathered at the Cathkin community centre on Thursday night to air their grievances against the City in a dispute which dates back to 2012.

Pastor Isaac de Jongh, chairperson of the Heideveld housing beneficiary committee and former member of the steering committee, said: “We’ve been given five different dates since 2012 that houses are going to be built. The City (then) called a beneficiary meeting and we mobilised the beneficiaries since September 2014.

“The project managers of the City then said again that our houses were going to be built in February and that by the end of June, Heideveld would have 75 houses built, but nothing has been done (to date).”

Clifton Carolus, who is one of the City’s project managers responsible for the housing project, outlined the progress of the project in a report at the meeting.

“The tender to build 738 houses in Heide­veld and 153 in Hazendal was awarded to Mellon Housing Initiative (MHI) and no appeal was received, so the top structure construction phase can start,” Carolus said.

Site offices have been established in Katberg Road and MHI has started the foundations for the first batch of 30 houses.

Carolus also stated that the signing of sales agreements for the first batch of houses would be done in the next two months.

He said that a timeline of two years had been set aside to complete all 738 houses, with the goal being to have the sales agreements signed and have the houses handed over to the beneficiaries as the developments progress.

Despite being invited to the meeting, Anthony Moses, subcouncil 11’s ward councillor, was not present.

Residents have alleged that Moses has been resorting to intimidation when community members questioned the progress of the project, alleging that they would have their names taken off the housing waiting list.

Tony Ehrenreich, provincial secretary of Cosatu, said that Moses should be kicked out, if indeed he intimidated people.

He said that Moses needed to start taking the needs of the community into consideration first, instead of his own.

“There is a problem with Anthony Moses. He thinks that he is the boss of this place (Heideveld). We don’t want to fight, we just want to know what is going on,” he added.

However, Moses has denied these claims, saying that the meeting itself was not a platform for political agendas.

“My responsibility is to keep the community informed,” said Moses.

He pointed out that the information sheets handed out at the meeting were intended to spread the same message to everyone and not sow misinformation and misunderstanding, which has been alleged by certain Heideveld residents.

Moses also said that the City have given all councillors a strict terms of reference, which he says he is bound to and that he has attended each of the 24 screening sessions held in the awarding of tenders for the project.

“I am not going to meet with people who are not beneficiaries and who are not residents of Heideveld,” Moses said, stating that De Jongh has had non-community members sitting in on the meetings he has held as well as having non-beneficiaries serving on his committee.

Ehrenreich, however, called for unity amongst the beneficiaries while taking aim at the City’s administration.

“If they cared about you, then they would have done something about it,” he said

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