Tenants ‘happy’ with minister’s meeting

2019-03-05 06:00

Tenants of rental units in Gatesville have expressed their gratitude following a public meeting held at Rylands Civic Hall on Wednesday 27 February.

Western Cape minister for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikzela attended the meeting where it was announced that the title deeds of the Gatesville flats will be handed over by the end of March next year.

Many of the residents have been living in the units for over three decades, in which a constant battle from them has been taking place in the community to take ownership of these blocks.

According to chairperson of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch and a tenant herself, Fowzia Veerasamy, residents were provided with offers to purchase the units at a historic cost of R7 230 in 2009 for those who occupied the units prior to 1994, while others were offered to purchase the units at the market-related value.

“This meant that everyone would be granted these as sectional title units and those who decided not to own the property were offered to continue their rental agreements. However, this did not materialise at that time,” says Veerasamy.

Residents present at the meeting voiced their concerns at the announcement being a “pre-election ploy”, to get citizens to vote for them. She added that the flats are still neglected and poorly maintained since the last general elections in 2014.

The community were only allowed five questions at the meeting and Veerasamy says there are still many questions remaining about the situation.

Residents are now looking forward to establishing a legitimate, mandated tenant’s committee to liaise with the department to ensure that the units are indeed handed over as promised with due consultation with all concerned residents.

She adds there will also be civic education offered to tenants to ensure that they know the implications of being homeowners.

The minister declared that R7.5m would be spent on repairs and maintenance to the flats in a transparent bidding process.

“This will hopefully be done in conjunction with the newly established committee and after an in-depth survey of needs. It is also necessary to verify a structural engineer’s report about some of the blocks being declared unsafe and possibly needing to be demolished as well as concerns about asbestos roofing, soft soil, structural damages, cracks, and no ventilation in some of the blocks,” she explains.

However, Veerasamy was still very pleased with the decision of the minister.

“Let this beautiful day be blessings to all. Well done to Gatesville tenants reaching the dream that looked unreachable. As Gatesville Flats residents, let us from (today) be united as one community, with no division and no conflict in moving forward with hope.”

Tenants of rental units in Gatesville have expressed their gratitude following a public meeting held at Rylands Civic Hall on Wednesday 27 February.

Western Cape minister for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikzela attended the meeting where it was announced that the title deeds of the Gatesville flats will be handed over by the end of March next year.

Many of the residents have been living in the units for over three decades, in which a constant battle from them has been taking place in the community to take ownership of these blocks.

According to chairperson of the Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch and a tenant herself, Fowzia Veerasamy, residents were provided with offers to purchase the units at a historic cost of R7 230 in 2009 for those who occupied the units prior to 1994, while others were offered to purchase the units at the market-related value.

“This meant that everyone would be granted these as sectional title units and those who decided not to own the property were offered to continue their rental agreements. However, this did not materialise at that time,” says Veerasamy.

Residents present at the meeting voiced their concerns at the announcement being a “pre-election ploy”, to get citizens to vote for them. She added that the flats are still neglected and poorly maintained since the last general elections in 2014.

The community were only allowed five questions at the meeting and Veerasamy says there are still many questions remaining about the situation.

Residents are now looking forward to establishing a legitimate, mandated tenant’s committee to liaise with the department to ensure that the units are indeed handed over as promised with due consultation with all concerned residents.

She adds there will also be civic education offered to tenants to ensure that they know the implications of being homeowners.

The minister declared that R7.5m would be spent on repairs and maintenance to the flats in a transparent bidding process.

“This will hopefully be done in conjunction with the newly established committee and after an in-depth survey of needs. It is also necessary to verify a structural engineer’s report about some of the blocks being declared unsafe and possibly needing to be demolished as well as concerns about asbestos roofing, soft soil, structural damages, cracks, and no ventilation in some of the blocks,” she explains.

However, Veerasamy was still very pleased with the decision of the minister.

“Let this beautiful day be blessings to all. Well done to Gatesville tenants reaching the dream that looked unreachable. As Gatesville Flats residents, let us from (today) be united as one community, with no division and no conflict in moving forward with hope.”

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