Container complaints

2015-08-25 06:00
Six containers are being used to house participants, as well as a beauty salon at Camp Joy in Camp Road. A building inspector is yet to rule on the remedial action following bylaw infringements at the camp.
PHOTO: 
Samantha Lee

Six containers are being used to house participants, as well as a beauty salon at Camp Joy in Camp Road. A building inspector is yet to rule on the remedial action following bylaw infringements at the camp. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Several community organisations are demanding answers after shipping containers were delivered to Camp Joy.

Claims of shady operations, illegal housing units and by-law infringements have been made.

Answering pleas from community leaders, ward councillor Elton Jansen arranged a site visit at the facility last week.

“We have received complaints from the community about the containers at the facility. They do not know what is happening and we are here to tell them what is going on,” said Jansen.

“If there are illegal activities going on here then we have to address it. The inspector has already visited the site and if there is a fine to be paid then that must be done,” he said.

One concern was that the project is linked to the Ceasefire project running in Manenberg and Hanover Park, which aims to rehabilitate people involved in drugs and gangsterism. However, these claims were dismissed.

First Church representative Pastor Craven Engel, who is the custodian of the Ceasefire project, maintains the containers have nothing to do with the project.

Camp Joy is being used as a rehabilitation centre with the aim of reintegrating people with addiction problems back into society.

There are two projects running concurrently.

Engel is responsible for the restoration centre based on the Camp Road property.

Jansen says many believe that everything happening on the property is done through the City of Cape Town, but this is not true.

The property is leased to the Western Cape Baptist Church and is sublet to First Church.

Strandfontein Ratepayers Association chairperson Gaironesa Diedericks, says communication with the residents is problematic.

Diedericks said a meeting was held so that Engel could explain why the containers were placed there.

“No one communicates with us and we all pay rates here. We want first-hand knowledge of what is happening and what your future plans are,” she said to Engel.

Engel said they were approached by the City to store the containers as they would be utilised in Hanover Park at a later stage.

“We said it would be ok, but I asked if we could use them for storage in the meantime because the project was still happening.”

But Strandfontein ANC branch secretary Karl Mocke said they were supposed to be temporary structures yet there were connections to electricity and sewage.

“These connections are illegal and infringing bylaws. All I know is there are connections, but who is paying for them? Someone has to foot the bill. Is it us as ratepayers?” asked Leonard Jacobs fom the ratepayers association.

Engel dismissed these claims, saying the church pays between R12 000 and R15 000 per month for utilities.

Another claim was that Engel was using the containers to add capacity to the facility but he said five containers were donated to the camp by the City and they were being used to house patients participating in the Job readiness programme.

“There are different projects and the skills development group need to go to classes and wake up early in the morning so they stay in the containers so that they don’t disturb the others,” says Engel.

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