Vendors stalls to be demolished

2018-05-31 06:01
Mwezi Lugwayi, a community leader, addresses vendors on the proposed demolition of their stalls, so a canal can be cleared.PHOTOS: VELANI LUDIDI

Mwezi Lugwayi, a community leader, addresses vendors on the proposed demolition of their stalls, so a canal can be cleared.PHOTOS: VELANI LUDIDI

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Residents of Simanyene Informal Settlement in Lwandle may be safe from being affected by this year’s floods should the rains come down hard.

Last month City Vision published a story about a family plagued by flooding as a result of an overflowing canal when it rains (“Family’s desperate cry for help”, 26 April).

The City of Cape Town said they could not clean the canal due to vending stands blocking the way for trucks from entering.

At the time, Anda Ntsodo, Mayoral Committee member for Area East, said certain areas of the canal are not accessible with machinery due to a lack of space, given the informal structures and overhead cables.

Following a heated meeting with street vendors on Sunday evening (27 May), a decision was reached to temporarily demolish the structures to allow cleaning to take place.

Noxolo Silala, chairperson of Simanyene, said the flooding affects them badly.

“We are tired of living in water and a smelly area. When the municipality wants to help us, they can’t due to people who block the way for the digger loader. If no decision was reached, we would’ve been forced to take the matter into our own hands,” she said.

A street vendor only known as Klaas said there was no need for harsh words or fighting. “We want to work with everyone and we don’t want to fight. That is why I volunteered that they start to demolish my stall first. Thereafter, we can rebuild and go back to business,” he said.

Mwezi Lugwayi, a community leader, said everyone has a right in South Africa.

“No-one must suffer because of another person,” he stated. “People are living in water and its winter; now this canal must be cleared. I am happy that we have reached a decision without a fight,” he said.

The structures were marked that evening so that the municipality can continue with the clearing of the canal.

Capetonians can expect heavy rains this winter and the clearing of the canal will limit the risk of flooding for the residents.

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