‘Let’s rally for neighbours’

2017-02-14 06:01

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False Bay residents have threatened to protest outside a subcouncil meeting

In a call to action last week, residents from “Fish Hoek to Kommetjie and Noordhoek” were invited to peacefully protest against “the violent tearing down of people’s homes in Masiphumelele and demand that the people, who are in [their] employ, living in ­Masi, have decent sanitation facilities”.

The call to protest comes after provincial government took the City of Cape Town to task over poor service delivery in Masiphumelele, finding the City had broken environmental law (“City told to do job”, People’s Post, 7 February).

In a directive issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, signed on Friday 20 January, the City was found to have caused “significant pollution and/or degradation to the environment, which constitutes a significant danger to the health and wellbeing” of Masiphumelele residents.

The directive orders the City to undertake a thorough and effective cleanup, remove refuse and carry out maintenance of toilets, washing facilities, canals and other infrastructure. The directive also orders a progress report.

Residents have complained about “forced removals” and “evictions” in the township last month, saying some homes were “pulled down on behalf of the City”.

Removals were legalEddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), confirms illegally erected structures were removed on Sunday 22 and Wednesday 25 January.

“The City removed illegally erected structures as per the common law remedy and the interdict that the City has in place. This is in an effort to ensure that the wetlands, which are dry at the moment and which are looking enticing to residents to settle on, are not invaded. These areas hold extreme flood risks,” he says.

“In addition, the City must ensure that illegal occupation is not to the detriment of its current housing project and its legitimate beneficiaries in the area.”

Residents have called on the City to allocate the land in the valley for low-cost and gap housing.

However, Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development, says apart from the housing project currently underway in Masiphumelele, “there are no new City housing developments imminent”.

“However, feasibility studies for possible new developments are underway,” he adds.

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