Overcrowdingis pressing

2015-06-09 06:00

Overcrowding and dire living conditions have left Parkwood residents crying out for help.

These residents say overpopulation in the area is becoming a serious issue and they want the City of Cape Town to step in to alleviate the problem.

Highlighting the plight of the concerned residents is community worker and religious leader Paul Phillips. He says the need for housing is an urgent one.

“We have families sharing units but it has become so overcrowded that people are literally living on top of each other. It is not a desirable situation for anyone,” Phillips says.

He adds that generations of families live together in rental stock and they have no other option.

“Naturally families grow over the years, then you have a situation where you might easily have up to four generations living in one home. This could easily add up to 15 people in a house at a time,” he says.

According to Phillips rental stock has now “turned into dormitories” as people live on top of each other.

“Because they are family homes people are not being forced to move out because you won’t leave your family out in the cold. What people do just for a little bit of privacy is to partition off sections of the home. So each family will use their own section,” he explains.

Phillips stresses why the City should be held accountable for the living conditions of Parkwood residents.

“The City has allowed for this issue to go on to the extent that it has reached now. They should do more to alleviate the problem but it doesn’t seem like they are,” Phillips says.

He explains that although residents moved to informal settlements, they were moved out of the area due to court orders.

“Even with Pelican Park that was established, it does not address the situation. Only a small percentage of families from Parkwood are assisted, while they are housed with people from other areas as well.”

During a visit to one of the properties in Parkwood, a resident demonstrated to him that she has to move between two informal structures just to get to her home.

“She has to move in and out of her space sideways because the space is just too small and narrow,” he adds.


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