Housing plans for residents of the Pookse Bos informal settlement in Rylands are currently underway. The area’s ward councillor, Aslam Cassiem, says about 135 families will benefit from a promised housing project in the next year or two (“Housing plans coming for Pookse Bos”, People’s Post, 7 November). “I can confirm that there has been land-use approval for the residents of Pookse Bos. The municipal planning tribunal approved it and the project manager will now set out a timeline for all the processes to take place,” explains Cassiem.“The civil service design for the project has also commenced, with various processes, where a programme will be prepared as well.“Street names for the area will also now be required, and the steering committee is currently working on a theme for it (street names).”Cassiem says the families who have been living on the piece of land, located off Turfhall Road, for more than two decades, could face major problems if they continue bringing new people onto the premises.“There could have been additional structures that were put up on the camp and that now needs to be investigated. The City of Cape Town should see that these additional structures must be removed. “By bringing in new people, this could delay the project. There are allegations that the beneficiaries list might have been amended, that new people have been given a place on the land and that old residents are being replaced with new residents. “The council has to look into this and ensure that those who have been living on the camp for many years are protected. In 2009 new people started coming on the site and many of the old residents are dead.”Cassiem says there are also allegations that campers from Valhalla Park were brought to the site.“There are more allegations that a business owner in the area brought people from Upington and when he doesn’t need them anymore, he sends them to live in Pookse Bos. We need to investigate those people who came in after 2009.“The City will do regular surveys and is already doing it. If the residents from Pookse Bos are allowing outsiders on the camp then they are making things difficult for themselves.“We cannot allow any more structures to be put up on this camp and those people will have to be removed. It is also going to be difficult to remove them.“We can only accommodate 135 families and they will be helped with reference to the time they moved on the camp.”Cassiem stresses that all illegal activity will also be monitored at the camp and warns that any resident committing criminal offences will be removed.“The surrounding communities are very concerned about crime happening in the area. Many of the criminals run into the camp when neighbourhood watch members chase them.“I am not sure if these criminals live in the camp or use the camp as a hiding spot. The City will apply for eviction orders for any criminal activity done by residents of the informal settlement.“Pookse Bos is a wonderful community and we will not allow one rotten apple to spoil everything,” adds Cassiem.A follow-up meeting will take place soon to discuss further planning for the housing project in the Pookse Bos informal settlement.