De Lille to visit Imizamo Yethu after peace talks bring calm

2017-07-27 20:40
Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24)

Patricia de Lille (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille will visit troubled Imizamo Yethu on Thursday night, following peace talks that have allowed for rebuilding to continue after the massive fire in March.

A minority had caused the recent problems, but talks over the weekend yielded an agreement to restore calm in the area, to allow for rebuilding to continue, her office said.

She said she intended meeting community leaders on Thursday evening to update them on the rebuilding.

She commended the majority of leaders for working with the city in good faith.

"In the Dontse Yakhe section, the removal of unlawful structures continues, the detailed programme planning and design is underway, and the civil contractor tender is in progress."

A devastating fire swept through the suburb in Hout Bay, outside Cape Town on March 11 and 12, leaving three people dead and thousands displaced.

The City of Cape Town is temporarily housing displaced residents in shacks on the sports field at the entrance to the popular tourist town.

After protracted negotiations with residents, the city said they had agreed not to build in the area destroyed by fire until the city had finished "reblocking" – improving on the shack settlement’s random layout.

This would do away with narrow alleys that allow fires to spread rapidly, and that gives residents no privacy, and replace them with thoroughfares broad enough for fire engines and ambulances.

On Saturday, another round of protests flared up in an apparent dispute about this process. University of the Western Cape student Siyamthanda Betana, 19, was shot dead.

His father Thabiso Betana collapsed and died afterwards, possibly from the shock of his son's death. Police are still investigating the killing.

In the meantime, they arrested 22 people for a range of unrelated crimes, including robbery. On Wednesday, police and other law enforcement officials fanned out in the area and searched over 400 people.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lt-Col Andre Traut said they monitored the demolition of allegedly illegally-erected shacks at the top end of Imizamo Yethu.

Read more on:    patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  imizamo yethu

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