Residents will not skip the housing queue

2018-05-15 06:00

Residents of the Siqalo informal settlement will not skip protocol in receiving housing opportunities.

These were the words of Mayco member (South) Eddie Andrews in response to numerous posts being shared via social media platforms, drawing anger and outrage from residents across Mitchell’s Plain.

“There are many voice notes and social media posts that are being shared. We had a third meeting last week with the leadership of both communities. [Neither] the City nor the province will be buying the land to build houses for Siqalo residents. What will be happening is, like normal places, those who do qualify for housing, they will be surveyed and they will be put on the housing waiting list,” says Andrews.

“People who are living in backyards and on the waiting list will not be pushed aside because we are focusing on Siqalo. There are processes and the City will follow all these processes.”

Electrification of the current site is not possible at this stage as the water table is too high, Andrews continues.

“We cannot build or put electricity on the site. The owner mined the sand on the site so the water level is high there,” he explains.

Last week there were a series of meetings convened with both communities to remedy the spate of protest.

Andrews further released a statement on social media in response to a viral post quoting the Human Settlements MEC, Bonginkosi Madikizela, as saying the residents will be moved to a new site.

“It does seem the author of this post was either not at the meeting, or at the meeting but desired to rather circulate messages that have the potential to further incite violence from both communities,” said Andrews.

“The Siqalo community will not be relocated to any site now. Residents who qualify must follow the process to apply for a housing opportunity. Regular meetings will be convened with key community groups directly impacted and feedback will be provided to the broader Mitchell’s Plain area circulated via ward councillors, media statements and social media.”

He added that a meeting would be held with the property owner and stakeholders to secure consent as to how the services requested could be delivered on the private property. “I am again appealing to all stakeholders to stop circulating information that is inconsistent with the facts,” said Andrews.

“If you have not seen something yourself, please do not share or forward messages.

“They can be misleading and some people want it to be misleading. If you cannot verify it, do not send on any information.”

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