Housing needs liaison

2017-05-23 16:57

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The latest development in the Heideveld housing project has seen the community liaison officer role being advertised after Ivan Wrenn was fired.

Wrenn, who was given a chance to represent himself in a hearing by contractor Mellon Housing Initiatives (MHI), was found guilty of contravening the contractual arrangements between him, the City of Cape Town and MHI after he gave someone a house illegally.

“A hearing was held. The notice was served through MHI and they held the hearing in terms of the Labour Relations and Industrial Relations Act,” says ward 44 councillor Anthony Moses.

“[Wrenn] has forwarded information in the form of affidavits that he put the lady in the house illegally. He was then found guilty of all four charges and was dismissed.

“The post has been advertised and the subcouncil has received six or seven CVs, which we have forwarded to MHI. They will start the interview process in order to get a suitable candidate.”

Moses says he is aware of people being put into houses illegally, which is unfair towards beneficiaries who have been on the waiting list for a number of years.

“That is a huge challenge for us, but we will operate within the parameters of the legal framework,” he adds.

Community members are in uproar over the occurence and have confirmed that there are numerous cases of illegally occupied homes, which have subsequently been subletted by the beneficiaries, who were supposed to have taken residence.

“I have met with them on three occasions. The last time was on Tuesday last week, where they raised their concerns where they want to deal with the matter from their perspective. But we told them that there are legal frameworks that are there to deal with this and that they should not implicate themselves and face legal challenges themselves. I assured them that we are dealing with it.

I have also encouraged the community to start their own neighbourhood watch (NHW) on that side in view of the other challenges that they have to deal with, such as the issues of crime, people walking through their property and breaking into people’s houses,” adds Moses.

A spike in robberies has ocurred at the footbridge crossing the N2 from Heideveld, with residents being urged to be cautious.
“We have the NHW, we have sat in the subforum NHW meeting with the community policing forum. The residents are being targeted by negative elements. The one lady on the corner right at the bridge has been robbed a few times.

“In view of this, we are also looking at how we can secure the perimeter of the units. It might take up to four months for us to come up with a solution as per the legislation’s requirement,” Moses says.

Moses says one of the other major challenges which has emerged since beneficiaries started moving in is illegal building extensions.

“In order to build, you need to have a title deed. The residents are building without title deeds and the building inspector is doing his rounds. Residents have been informed not to build without approval from the City. I am looking at the situation in terms of how we can shorten the process so that people can secure their properties.

“The other challenge is the mushrooming of house shops which has been happening in the community.”

A City building inspector has been issuing contravention notices, says Moses, especially in Kabonkel Street where, he says, residents have built on their properties illegally.

“We are taking the owner at the Kabonkel house shop to court in terms of the municipal planning bylaw. At that particular house shop there was a massive fight on Monday, which already has an impact on the social character of the community.”


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