Taking hands to rebuild

2017-04-18 06:00
Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks at a joint meeting in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay about the progress being done to help victims of the recent devastating fire.

Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks at a joint meeting in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay about the progress being done to help victims of the recent devastating fire.

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Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay has been declared a local disaster area after a devastating fire in early March left four people dead and thousands homeless.

Following the fire the City of Cape Town has started with a super-blocking process to map out the area and provide services.

Super-blocking is done in areas where density or other restrictive conditions make it difficult to provide service to individual sites. The process marks blocks separated by roads and pedestrian or service corridors, to provide electrification and communal taps and toilets per block.

City officials say they have agreed to create four temporary relocation areas (TRAs) until residents can move to the super-blocked zone. The first TRA is on the Imizamo Yethu sports field. The second will be in Disa Site 2 (the forestry site), where the formal housing development is currently being built. The third site (Hughenden Estate) will accommodate about 300 families, while the fourth (the Penzance site) will accommodate around 80 families. The earthworks necessary to accommodate these families are yet to be installed. Therefore these sites will only be used at a later stage if required.

Mayor Patricia de Lille announced this during a joint meeting with Imizamo Yethu community leaders last Wednesday to discuss the newly developed plans and give updates on the process of relocation.

“These relocations will be temporary while the super-blocking is in process,” she said.

City officials have written to both the provincial and national government to have the area declared a disaster zone. This application is still being processed and considered.

“I would firstly like to commend the leadership of the Imizamo Yethu community who have worked so well with the City,” De Lille said.

“The City was ambitious in thinking that the super-blocking project would be completed in such a short space of time.

“The terrain is mountainous and therefore very difficult to build on. We remain committed to this project, but the current conditions in Tent City require a more comfortable arrangement for the fire victims for the next three months while this project is completed.”

Community leaders say, in a statement sent out by the City, they are happy with a mid-term solution of housing people in the TRAs on four pieces of land while the super-blocking is under way in the fire-affected areas.

“We forged a very good relationship with the City in addressing our immediate needs and finding long-lasting solutions for the people of Imizamo Yethu,” they say.

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