Residents have no time for delay

2017-03-21 06:02

Masiphumelele resident again protested on the weekend after alleged land invasions in the township on Sunday.

The protest follows one last Sunday, which reportedly impacted on the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Last week, attempts to discuss services in Masi­phumelele faced anger during a community meeting. Following the riotous meeting, officials of the City of Cape Town say they “remain committed” to finding ways to constructively engage with Masiphumelele residents.

The meeting followed a protest on Sunday 12 March in which 17 people were arrested. The protest was allegedly over a response issued by subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase to a memorandum given to her last month (“Protestors demand ‘decent’ service”, People’s Post, 21 February).

The protest dealt with complaints about service delivery and was followed by a meeting at the community hall on Monday 13 March.

At the meeting, the community was to be informed of the re-submission of an environmental impact assessment on erf 5131, says Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy. “The City had received a previous negative record of decision on this. The community was to be informed about engagements with senior officials regarding plans to further bolster the provision of refuse and sanitation services. The community was to be consulted on the issue of electrification,” she says.

Last month, following the initial protest, Limberg hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders of Masiphumelele to listen to their concerns about housing and service delivery in the area.

It was agreed in this meeting that Limberg would conduct a site visit to the area to provide feedback on issues raised in the initial meeting. This was set to take place on Saturday 11 March.

Limberg then asked for one week’s delay for the visit and the leadership agreed to this in writing.

“On the morning of 11 March, officials received an urgent request from the community leadership to engage over a land issue,” says Limberg. “It was agreed to move the planned engagement with the community forward to 13 March. The intention of this meeting was to provide the community with feedback on the issues raised at both of the previous meetings.”

However, angry residents did not allow officials to talk about all the planned points.

“We remain committed to the residents of Masiphumelele and, as always, will explore all avenues to achieve our desired state of constructive engagement,” says Limberg.

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