Fake news of Siqalo relocation causes concern for Mitchells Plain residents

2018-05-08 17:54
Police monitor protests in Mitchells Plain. (Aljoscha Kohlstock, News24)

Police monitor protests in Mitchells Plain. (Aljoscha Kohlstock, News24)

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Fake claims that Siqalo informal settlement residents would be relocating to New Woodlands in Mitchells Plain have forced community leaders to arrange a mass meeting on Tuesday evening to restore calm to the tense suburb in Cape Town.

Tensions have been running high in the area since violent clashes between Mitchells Plain and Siqalo residents erupted last week.

Mitchells Plain residents were opposed to Siqalo residents' service delivery protests, which resulted in road closures. This sparked the clashes.

Now there are rumours on social media of a relocation.

However, mayoral committee member Eddie Andrews said that the news was fake and explained that certain people had taken the opportunity to twist the words of Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela to cause unrest.

READ: The history of Siqalo informal settlement and hopes for a new beginning

"We had a series of meetings last week, which included one with the minister. He said that a survey in Siqalo would be conducted to determine who qualifies for housing opportunities," Andrews said.

"The minister said that 52ha would be identified for relocation – we can't say which site. Siqalo residents will not be relocating to New Woodlands."

Andrews, who has been engaging with Mitchells Plain residents since last week, said that he was aware of the messages on Facebook.

"I've heard voice notes being circulated saying: 'Stop the invasion of New Woodlands'. It is inaccurate," he said.

Siqalo community leader Monwabisi Futshane also said he had not been informed that residents would be relocated.

"The minister just made a promise about basic services such as water and electricity," Futshane said.

"He did mention vacant land in Kosovo, Mitchells Plain, but he didn’t say which site because he was afraid people would start erecting shacks there."

Andrews said that he was confident community leaders in New Woodlands would put an end to the confusion at the meeting, which is scheduled for 19:30 at the New Woodlands Civic Centre.

Read more on:    cape town  |  land  |  social media  |  protests

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