Workshop tackles land problems

2019-07-09 06:01
Attendees listening attentively.PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Attendees listening attentively.PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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Community development and land use were at the centre of discussion during a community workshop held at the Lentegeur sub-council office on Saturday 29 June.

The workshop was organised by the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents Association (MURA) – a community organisation that seeks to raise community challenges – in partnership with Development Action Group (DAG), an organisation that deals with all land and housing-related matters, ensuring that the people are at the centre of development.

The gathering was attended by various community organisations such as Mandalay Montclair Business Forum, Home Seekers Association of South Africa.

The meeting was chaired by MURA’s deputy chairperson Michael Jacobs.

He explained that the aim of the meeting was for the invited organisation to give feedback on the findings from the research they were tasked with by MURA.

The research focused on development programmes in Mitchell’s Plain and some parts of Khayelitsha.

Jacobs explained the research was about vacant pieces of land and its ownership. He said they tasked DAG because of their expertise in the subject.

“We as MURA do not want to duplicate the process as there are a lot of developments that are happening,” Jacobs explained.

Crystal West, programme manager at DAG, did a brief Powerpoint presentation dubbed “Reimagining Mitchell’s Plain”.

Her presentation touched on a few aspects such as what she labelled as assets in the area. She described those as role players in the economy of a specific area, Mitchell’s Plain in this instance.

West made mention of the crucial role churches, mosques, residents (educated and uneducated) could play in the economy where they were given land.

She explained these are important because they make a contribution in the economy and they qualify for land allocation.

She explained the necessity to know all the above details because it makes it easier to add to or see on the database.

“The aim of identifying who is who is to make it easy to call people for services because we know who does what,” she explained.

In her presentation, she encouraged attendees to take a stand, unite and bring the change they desire for their area.

Querida Saal, a researcher at DAG, shared some information about budgets for various areas in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha. She spoke about priority areas in which money is budgeted for. However, she explained to the attendees that there were not much agriculture and mining activities in Mitchell’s Plain. “(But) I can safely say, based on the research, businesses are doing well in Mitchell’s Plain,” she said.

Attendees were given an opportunity to comment and ask questions. They also raised an issue of multiple housing waiting lists that are doing the rounds.

They asked about the original state of the lists. There was also a question about the City allegedly selling land to private business owners.

Chairperson and founding member for Home Seekers Association of South Africa, Morrice Kok, said such workshops played a great role in communities. He called for the education of residents regarding processes to be followed with regards to many issues including housing.

Kok stressed that most residents do not really know the role of the councillors. “Meetings like this are important but implementation is more important,” he said.

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