Still no progress for Hida fire victims

2019-02-12 06:00
Members of ward74 committe after the recent meeting. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Members of ward74 committe after the recent meeting. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Almost four months since a fire ravaged the Hida informal settlement, leaving 26 families homeless, there is still no solid plan to provide them with land or proper housing.

During a committee meeting held at Hout Bay Library on Tuesday 5 February, ward 74 councillor, Roberto Quintas, reported that the council was waiting on Mayor Dan Plato to return to the residents to announce a way forward.

Quintas said there had not been any conclusions about suitable land for housing development or a set budget as yet.

Five families are still staying in the Hangberg Civic Centre with no plan to rebuild their lives, as the area they had previously lived in was declared unsafe and in need of interventions.

These families were among many that moved into the centre immediately after they lost their homes to the fire on Monday 19 October last year.

While others have over time moved in with their relatives and others have returned to the land despite the warnings, these five families are putting their faith in the City. They share the public toilets at the centre and take turns to bath in the bathroom, and they have survived on donations and their social grants to get by.

Quintas was reporting to members of the ward committee, with several other issues also being raised including service delivery in the informal settlements of Dontse Yakhe, Shooting Range and N Agget, among others.

He said the council is aware of the challenges and continues to seek suitable measures to allow for proper development to take place, which will enable service delivery. He said Hout Bay is facing a dire challenge of lack of land to temporarily relocate residents of the informal settlements.

Contrarily, Clifford Nogwavu, a resident and member of the committee, said if the City cannot find space to move people it can reinstall services in the communities. “There were services in these communities before and the community believes they can be installed again.”

Roscoe Jacobs of the Hout Bay Civic Association issued a statement saying the community believes there is land in Hout Bay, but the City ought to use it for commercial purposes. “We call on the city manager of the City of Cape Town to stop the electricity depot project being built on Erf 9652 in Hangberg. This piece of land is one of four pieces of land purchased by the City to build houses for the people of Hangberg.”

In its interim response to a query sent by People’s Post, the City said: “The people of Hangberg remain a priority for the City and service delivery in the broader community is ongoing.”

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