Mediator to invite talks

2017-05-23 06:01

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A mediator has been appointed to resolve ongoing conflict between Masiphumelele residents and the City of Cape Town.

Eddie Andrews, Mayco member (South), says IR Change has been appointed as conflict resolution specialist and they are embarking on “a consultative process with all Masiphumele stakeholders to improve ­communication”.

This should start over the next few weeks, he adds.

The mediator is needed to “facilitate constructive and effective communication between all Masiphumele stakeholders”, Andrews says, in the hope that it will enable “Masiphumele stakeholders to work together to find lasting solutions in response to the current challenges”.

Relations between the City and residents deteriorated earlier this year, following a government report that the City had not been providing adequate service delivery to the area.

The report was subsequently withdrawn after it was found the issues were part of an intergovernmental agreement with provincial and national government.

In March, City officials’ attempt to discuss service delivery in Masiphumelele were met with anger during a community meeting. Following the riotous meeting, City officials said they “remain committed” to finding ways to work with Masiphumelele residents, which included the appointment of mediators (“Residents have no time for delay”, People’s Post, 21 March).

At the meeting, residents were to be informed of the re-submission of an environmental impact assessment report on erf 5131, Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, previously told People’s Post. The community was to be informed about engagements with senior officials on plans to improve the provision of refuse and sanitation services, and was to be consulted on the issue of electrification during the meeting.

However, angry residents did not allow officials to talk about all the planned points.

In a statement released on behalf of community leaders in Masiphumelele, it was said: “We are only a small community but our suffering is of such a magnitude that it has galvanised us towards protest. This has sometimes worried our neighbours, but it must be made clear that we do not want violence; sometimes this has been our last ­resort.

“We feel our efforts have finally resulted in this appointment of an independent mediator and discussions can now resume.”

Subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase says the City is establishing a joint forum for residents to talk with them.

“A neutral mediator has now been appointed and will be responsible for establishing all City, Masiphumelele residents’ and community representation to this forum. The mediator will be in touch with all leadership structures and organisations in Masiphumelele shortly.”


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