Soup kitchen creates stir

2019-01-29 06:01
The container situated on the corner of Longkloof Circle in Heideveld.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

The container situated on the corner of Longkloof Circle in Heideveld.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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A soup kitchen used to feed children in Heideveld has become a bone of contention in the last week.Isaac de Jongh, who helps run the kitchen which feeds underprivileged children in the community, alleges that ward 44 councillor Anthony Moses is victimising him.

De Jongh says they were forced to pay a building fine of R1800 last week. The fine, which was paid on 18 January to the Wynberg Regional Court

“Our church’s NPO was taken to court for running a feeding scheme from private church grounds in Longkloof Circle,” De Jongh said in a statement. He added that in 2015, “the ward councillor of ward 44 sent an inspector of the plans department (Ledger House in Athlone) to our feeding scheme container to deliver a court order against our feeding scheme container. The inspector clearly stated that day that the councillor of ward 44 made the case against the feeding scheme container.”

However, Moses has blatantly denied the allegations. He says he has never raised a “formal complaint” against the kitchen.

“I have also not sent any building inspectors to inspect the property. Certain comments made by the pastor is that I am against the soup kitchen. We are not against poverty alleviation in our communities, because there are so many in poverty,” Moses said.

Moses instead accused De Jongh of misleading the church on whose property the container is situated. “He (De Jongh) has misled the church board in terms of placing the container there. He should know better because he was a ward committee member for five years and he has been educated, in those five years, what are the planning processes within the municipality,” he added.

De Jongh says he handed in plans to the plans department in Athlone “on numerous occasions”, but the City keeps instituting “new building regulations”.

“We never had the opportunity to speak our mind and our side of the story to the judge as we always had to appear on new dates. After three years of attending/appearing for this case we were told that we should move the container five metres from the boundary line,” says De Jongh.

Moses says that the container just needs to comply with building regulations in order to continue operating, as it has for the last few years.

“The simple thing that he needs to do is to comply in terms of the municipal regulations, and must not confuse it with other contexts,” says Moses.

“It means that if you put a container on a property, you need to seek the approval from the municipality. In view of this, you must submit an engineering certificate for that structure which you are putting down, because you might place it over services, then the municipality cannot get to the services.

“Those are all the kinds of challenges which can be faced,” adds Moses, stating he met with De Jongh in September last year to discuss the way forward for the container.

“He has been saying that he is being sent from pillar to post – I can remember that in September I engaged with him on this issue and he told me that it is sorted – in front of a leaders’ meeting in public. Up until now he has not done anything.

“I can state, for the record, that I am not against any soup kitchen within our community and he must not mislead the community,” states Moses.
De Jongh pointed out that other shipping containers scattered around Heideveld have not experienced the fate which has befallen his soup kitchen.

“In the whole Heideveld area are old rusted containers where people run mobile shops and do businesses and never was a court order issued to any of them. Even the previous mayor dumped two rusted containers about two months ago just before she resigned – two containers on open public grounds that are just standing serving no purpose,” De Jongh says.

In information shown to People’s Post, De Jongh identified the containers in the area.

“No court order or charges were laid against them from the previous mayor or the department responsible,” alleges De Jongh.

However, Moses claims building inspectors are sent to visit the various containers in the area on a regular basis.

“We have also got the two containers which were placed next to Cathkin High School, opposite Mariana Court. I also received complaints from the ratepayers in that area. They are saying what is going on in these containers during the day.

“We will ask the building inspectors to go out there and address these types of issues. If we must remove it then we will.”


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