Demands listed

2018-03-27 06:01
More than 800 residents walked to the City of Cape Town’s municipal office in Grassy Park on Wednesday. PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

More than 800 residents walked to the City of Cape Town’s municipal office in Grassy Park on Wednesday. PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Residents of the Egoli informal settlement in Schaapkraal and surrounding camps in the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) spent their Human Rights Day on Wednesday taking to the streets to voice their struggle.

More than 800 people participated in the peaceful march calling for better service delivery and made their way to the City of Cape Town’s municipal office in Grassy Park where a memorandum was handed over to ward 43 councillor, Elton Jansen.

The event comes after protests last month where residents demanded land to be made available for housing (“Residents plan mass march”, People’s Post, Tuesday 6 March).

“I am here to accept a memorandum from the residents of Egoli and surrounding areas of the PHA, on behalf of the City. I understand that they are protesting for housing and so forth. I am always willing to sit at a round table with the community and will do so to look into their issues,” said Jansen.

“The land that they are on is private property and I have been in contact with the owners. We are trying to reach some sort of consensus. As the City, we cannot make any decision on private land, but when we speak to the owners I am sure they can lead to some sort of consensus.”

Jansen said he could not speak on the availability of City land to accommodate his people, but he is willing to speak to the City.

“The people of Egoli are not the only people who are seeking houses and land. There are many other camps across the PHA that I have to deal with. I understand that it is a major issue in the country and I have empathy with the people living in these circumstances. I will try my best to assist them, but I cannot promise them houses. I can, however, find amicable solutions to their plight.”

Residents have given the City until Friday 6 April to respond to them. “We call on the City to listen to our plea for better service delivery and to take immediate action to ensure our people are treated fairly according to the rights of the constitution.

“We chose to hand over our memorandum on Human Rights Day because this day plays an important role in the lives of South Africans, remembering those who have lost their lives fighting for our people’s rights during the apartheid era,” says Abraham Fransman, leader of Egoli.

“While many of us are still living in an era where there is no fair opportunity and treatment for our people, we believe that it is time that the government takes our people seriously, for our country belongs to all who live in it and we shall be given what is rightfully ours. We have not defeated apartheid to end up in these conditions where the rich are catered for and the poor are forgotten.”

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