Protesters not happy with Min.

2018-06-28 06:03
Minister for Human Settlements NomaIndia Mfeketo addressing backyarders at Gugulethu Sports Complex, while deputy minister for Human Settlements Zoe Kota, City’s mayco member (Central) Siyabulela Mamkeli and director general for Human Settlements Mbulelo Tshangana listen attentively.                                                 PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Minister for Human Settlements NomaIndia Mfeketo addressing backyarders at Gugulethu Sports Complex, while deputy minister for Human Settlements Zoe Kota, City’s mayco member (Central) Siyabulela Mamkeli and director general for Human Settlements Mbulelo Tshangana listen attentively. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Gugulethu backyarders threatened to invade every open space in the area to build shacks if the government won’t give them houses.

The irate backyarders said they are disappointed with the response by Minister of Human Settlements NomaIndia Mfeketo to their grievances, regarding housing development in Gugulethu.

The event was held at Gugulethu Sports Complex last Friday.

Sharon Mtambeka said they were expecting the minister to tell them what they are going to do right now as backyarders whose shacks are constantly demolished by the City of Cape Town’s anti-land invasion unit.

“To us this means nothing ... Gugulethu was been established years ago, but there is little the government is doing for the backyarders. Backyarders in other areas have been relocated to Mfuleni and Delft, including other areas.

“I cannot remember the last time we received houses ... For how long must we wait for proper houses?” she asked.

Mtambeka said there is no democracy for the people of Gugulethu.

“I was born in a four roomed house built by the apartheid government. And my children were also born in the same house. We are all cramped in the same house. Where is the privacy?” asked the mother of three children.

Mtambeka (39) said they won’t stop until they get their houses.

Mfeketo concurred that Gugulethu has many struggles.

“I know backyarders were never accommodated for a long time. I know of many other challenges facing the area,” she said.

Mfeketo urged the community to work with all three spheres of government.

“There is province, that at times if the municipality is unable to do something they must intervene. That is why I am here as national minister not that I am at the point of delivering. But when there is strife to any community and it also affects what we are doing as national department even though we allocate money to municipalities and provinces to do those things on our behalf,” said Mfeketo.

She said there is a piece of land that has been allocated for the backyarders near Fezeka Municipality since her time as mayor, but nothing has happened.

“It’s not because there is lack of budget for that, just the lack of doing what is right. Today we are going to give backyarders their responsibilities because they can protest till they get blue in the face, but if they are not registered for a house they are not going to get it,” she said, adding that about 550 RDP houses are going to be built on that land.

Loyiso Nkohla, a community activist, said there were no clear plans for the Gugulethu backyarders.

He urged anyone who has a video clip of the anti-land invasion unit destroying their shacks, to bring it forward so that the City can bring their material back.

“... And I am appealing to you (backyarders) to form a committee that is going to represent them and be able to go direct to the minister’s office if there is a problem. There will be no middle man,” said Nkohla.

He urged Mfeketo to commit herself and sign a memorandum of agreement with the community members.

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