March on municipality

2019-05-30 06:00
The handful of residents of Pholile informal settlement sing and dance outside the Strand municipal offices, where they had marched to present a memorandum of grievances to City officals over conditions in their area, also calling for possible resettlement.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

The handful of residents of Pholile informal settlement sing and dance outside the Strand municipal offices, where they had marched to present a memorandum of grievances to City officals over conditions in their area, also calling for possible resettlement.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

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A group of informal settlement residents marched to the Strand municipal offices on Wednesday 29 May to voice their grievances over circumstances in their area.

The handful of marchers sang and danced as they made their way to the municipal building, where they blocked an entrance.

They demanded that an official accept their memorandum before allowing anyone to enter or exit the building.

Among the issues in the memorandum, residents demanded that immediate action be taken about community halls in wards 85 and 86, which residents say harbour criminals. This, they say, has “grossly impacted on service delivery”, affecting social grant recipients in particular.

They also wanted a commitment made by national road agency (Sanral), the Housing Development Agency (HDA) and the City of Cape Town to relocating shacks from Sanral-owned land to other land that isn’t near hazardous power lines or flooded areas.

Residents also demanded that the canals in Ward 86 be cleaned, accusing the current contractor of cleaning only selected portions and not the entire area.

Mwezi Lungwani, a community leader of Pholile informal settlement, said efforts to remove residents pending an upgrade of the area was also meant to have commenced.

“We were informed that the upgrade was supposed to have started already,” he said. “But we see this month is also coming to an end without any action.

“We cannot wait another 18 months to see action, which will mean this matter will now be a source of politicking. So, ideally, these undertakings need to be implemented within 18 months, more or less the time of 2021 local government elections.”

Xolani Joja of the City’s housing department received the memorandum. He told City Vision the City was in discussion with HDA and Sanral on the matter.

“We will soon organise a meeting with the leadership structure of the area to address these matters,”Joja said. “The issue is a serious matter and we are working on it.”

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