Flare up over houses

2018-06-12 06:01

Local residents feel that their plea for a solution to the lack of housing opportunities is falling on deaf ears following a feedback session in the area last week.

Mayco member (South), Eddie Andrews, along with ward councillor William Akim, met with residents on Wednesday to discuss the title deed process.

“The title deed process involves rental units council considers selling to tenants who qualify. Sadly, because Parkwood mostly has flats, those units cannot be considered as it’s not a stand-alone house.

“The community strongly requested that council gives them the land they invaded so they can put up a structure. It was conveyed to the leadership and members present that such a request cannot be responded to without due diligence exercises undertaken, which includes determining who has registered on the housing waiting list. Needless to say the response was not well received and the community threatened to again invade the land,” says Andrews.

Community leader and convener of the Voice of Parkwood, Pastor Paul Phillips, says that Andrews’s comments agitated those in attendance and did little to instil faith or trust.

“He said that he could only respond to the third point where the City of Cape Town is concerned. In terms of the City, when it comes to the title deeds, there are only 10 houses in Parkwood being allocated to receive title deeds. Now you can’t tell that to 300, 400, 500 people. That actually sparked off the protest and the unhappiness and the spillover in terms of the emotions and all that goes with it,” says Phillips.

Phillips did not expect Andrews to provide disappointing feedback, especially at a time when Parkwood feels the need to have their voices heard.

“Tell them that there is a process of engagement between national, provincial and the City and they are looking at the concerns and that it is being addressed. I thought that was going to be the message, not what he said. It was very unprofessional and that is what sparked off the current situation we are having again in Parkwood. It is escalating as we speak,” adds Phillips.

As a result, the M5 was blocked off on Wednesday night and Thursday night with a strong police presence keeping watch over the area.

While the initial protests have been about the lack of housing, following government’s engagement the protest action may have taken on another shape. V Continued on page 2.

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