Plato promises residents houses

2019-04-16 06:00
Dan Plato.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Dan Plato.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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“There is hope for Parkwood and the greater Retreat area at large,” City of Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said during a housing development meeting held at Parkwood Restorative Centre on Sunday 7 April.

He was delivering the keynote address to quell emotions after residents went on a rampage a few weeks ago and numerous protests in the neighbourhood that led to the closure of the busy M5 (“Anger over no response,” People’s Post, 26 March).

Addressing the residents Plato said the provincial department of human settlements and his office managed to “define a budget” for the Parkwood housing development following the numerous protests that saw the M5 closed

Plato said he had two public meetings to address the housing issue in the community and there would be more engagements as he is still investigating the severity, as reported by the residents.

Plato said he understands people have become impatient with the government as there has been housing promises made to them by previous leadership but “I commit myself, I give them my word. I have been in power for four months and I have no interest of tarnishing my name by making empty promises.”

Plato says at this stage he can confirm that 35 units will be built in Parkwood alone and that more development will be part of the plan earmarked for Ottery, Greater Cafda, Lavender Hill and other areas to be part of the proposed Greater Retreat Development.

Plato said budget figures and the identified land for the developments can only be finalised and announced once the plan and public participation are through, of which he said the processes alone could take up 12 months.

Though he said the development should be a three-year project, “I understand how government works, sometimes things do not go according to the plan and delays occur hence I want you to be prepared and allow period of up to four to five years for the project to be completed,” said Plato.

The community said there is nothing new in what Plato said and would need time to digest it and see if the promise is likely to materialise.

Community leader, Paul Phillips said: “This alone means nothing to us, but we will need to let the community digest it and make a decision. There have been too many three-year promises and people are tired of waiting.”

Phillips blamed the lack of service delivery in the area for the high number of social ills, saying everyone is frustrated and the youth is gradually losing hope.

He said houses are the immediate need in the community but there is a lot that still needs to be done. “There are no facilities here, youth have nothing to do. There is just no hope for them, and the living conditions make it even worse. We need our government to act or people will start where they left off.”

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