We have been engaging with Siqalo informal settlement for years - De Lille

2018-05-04 15:00
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks at the opening of the Mitchells Plain municipal court. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille speaks at the opening of the Mitchells Plain municipal court. (Zukile Daniel, News24)

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The City of Cape Town has been engaging with the Siqalo informal settlement and the surrounding community in Mitchells Plain for years, Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Friday.

"It's now the first time in many, many months that there is a protest," she said, while attending the launch of the nearby Mitchells Plain Municipal Court.

She was referring to violent protests by residents over service delivery this week, which led to several roads being blocked.

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

A 21-year-old man was also killed on Wednesday after a taxi ploughed into a group of protesters.

De Lille said they had been able to bring peace to the area by speaking to community leaders.

"So, it's not that we have done nothing. Maybe you don't know about everything that has happened," she said in response to questions from journalists about what the City was doing and whether she took personal responsibility for the protests.

Court case

De Lille added that they had put together a meeting to get all role-players into one room, including the owner of the private land on which Siqalo was located.

"We have many, many meetings with everyone. We can show you the letters we have written. There has been continuous engagement. This is not the first time."

She added that there was an ongoing court case involving the landowner.

De Lille added that the owner was not keen to sign a servitude agreement which would allow the City to install electricity services.

Instead, he insisted that the City buy the land, she explained.

Xanthea Limberg, the mayoral committee member responsible for informal settlements, said on Thursday that Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela had arranged a meeting for Saturday in which the City and province would present the Mitchells Plain and Siqalo communities with a "package of potential solutions".

This package included the proposal of alternative land parcels for the relocation of Siqalo residents and residents of some other surrounding informal settlements, she said.

News24 previously reported that people flocked to the land in increasing numbers after being evicted from backyard shacks in informal settlements and townships in Philippi, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu from the end of 2011.

The City provides taps on the periphery for some 2 291 structures on the land, along with servicing 200 chemical toilets and 2 000 portable flush toilets in the settlement.

De Lille added on Friday that local people were employed to collect refuse weekly.

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Read more on:    patricia de ­lille  |  cape town  |  land  |  service delivery  |  protests

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