Get a move on for Masi

2017-08-08 06:01

“If the Masiphumelele community doesn’t want a fire station, we will build it in another area.”

What a spoiled child’s response from Mayco member JP Smith to an angry outcry from Masiphumelele residents for priority to be given to land, housing and decent services (“Flames fan over station”, People’s Post, 1 August).

From another Mayco member, Brett Heron, we read that plans for “additional housing” have not yet been finalised, nor has the acquisition of land. But to allay public fears, councillors like to make reassuring statements. Let’s have some timeframes!

In May 2015, shortly after a fire demolished 40 homes in Masiphumelele, the City of Cape Town appointed ARG Design to undertake a development study of Masi.

Workshops were held and options discussed with residents and neighbours. Among the issues debated were the water and sanitation systems, the economy, education and the need for a fire strategy and the training of volunteers. But, this study came to a standstill shortly afterwards – no explanation was offered or final report issued. Apart from the fire station, all we seem to hear since then is interdicts to prevent houses being built on vacant land and the demolition of homes.

As an afterthought but small consolation, Heron told People’s Post that the fire station will not take up the whole Solole site, only a portion – the rest of the site would be available.

Or, as Smith added: “It is not a case of fire station instead of housing.” But with so many promises, let’s see some positive action.

How about finalising and releasing the matrix plan programme for sanitation and cleansing and the final spatial development framework which we were told by Xanthea Limberg’s office on 27 June would be released shortly?

Remember: “Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing” – clause 26 of the Bill of Rights.

Mary Turok Noordhoek

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