Peaceful after protests

2018-05-29 06:00
Western Cape Minister of human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela conducted a walkthrough in Parkwood to witness the living conditions of residents in need of housing. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

Western Cape Minister of human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela conducted a walkthrough in Parkwood to witness the living conditions of residents in need of housing. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

People’s lives were put at risk during last week’s violent protests over housing but calm has been restored in the area.

Tensions had flared into violent exchanges as local residents continued protest action to highlight lack of housing opportunities. However, following a meeting between leaders and residents on Saturday morning, the situation returned to normal.

The same leaders are poised for another week of discussions with provincial government’s human settlements department as well as the City of Cape Town, while there will also be a public meeting at Alida Court, opposite the vacant land in Walmer Road tomorrow (Wednesday) at 18:30.

“We have engaged the community on Saturday morning and briefed them on where we are with the process and what the authorities have put on the table. There are discussions around council rental stock, discussions around looking at the available land and the backlog on the waiting list and to fast track the upgrade of Parkwood. Identify open spaces and land around the Parkwood area, because we don’t want our people to be uprooted and moved from Parkwood,” says Pastor Paul Phillips, convenor of Voice of Parkwood.

He adds that there are also discussions for residents in rental stock to become title deed holders. “Most of the Parkwood community have indicated that they will give us that space to engage national, provincial and the City with the demands of the people. We had a peaceful weekend and we also had operation clean up with the residents themselves, with the leaders, removed all the rubble and cleared the roads so things can come back at least to some form of normality. Our children are back at school and people are going back to work. Things are peaceful,” says Phillips.

Following the initial outbreak of violence during protests last week, Western Cape MEC for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela visited Parkwood to explain the way forward.

“I understood the reason why you took the action that you took. It is true that some of the protests in the city and in the province are politically motivated, but some of the protests are coming from people with genuine concerns. That is why it is very important not for us as politicians to just dismiss the protests and think that they are politically motivated. It became very clear to me that the people of Parkwood have genuine concerns,” Madikizela said when he addressed residents and backyard dwellers on Tuesday­.

Dominique Booysen, backyarders’ leader, says that although no time line has been set for their demands to be met, he looks forward to the feedback from the respective stakeholders later this week.

“We hope he is not making empty promises to us. All I expect is that we are going to be speaking to the community and then we will speak to the authorities,” he says.

Madikizela added that his department needs a complete list of all who require houses and that his department will try to find land to accommodate them, with a reshuffling of beneficiary prioritisation, while also rooting out opportunists who may tarnish the hopes of those with genuine concerns.

“My humble request to the people of Parkwood is that we have to make sure that we do this orderly, peacefully and follow due processes.

“If we just allow people to occupy this land, it will be difficult to discover that some of the people who are occupying this land will not qualify,” he said, adding that he is aware of beneficiaries selling or renting out the houses given to them in Pelican Park.V Continued on page 2.

ugh. We can’t be living here for 39 years and still be living this way.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.