The shipping containers that were donated by the City of Cape Town to the community of Kuyasa to empower youth and assist residents with a range of communities are now attracting the attention of the criminals.
The four containers were allegedly donated by former mayor Patricia De Lille to the community in 2017 to help residents host their meetings. However, they were never used.
Ward 97 councillor Reynold Simbeku said the containers arrived at the time De Lille was about to resign as the mayor, a move that left the community and the project in limbo. “What I’ve noticed is that they are vandalised by the criminals because no one is looking after them,” said Simbeku.
Community leader Thanduxolo Wili said four shipping containers were initially delivered. One was subsequently taken away, while the other three have been left to gather rust.
“The plan was to install electricity and other things before we could use them,” said Wili.
He said the project came to a grinding halt when De Lille resigned as Cape Town mayor.
He said as the community they decided to temporarily hand over the containers to some needy residents to run their projects.
“Since these shipping containers were part of community development we decided to give them to anyone who wanted to use them,” he said adding that it was also decided they would be taken back at some point. Wili stated that one of the containers was taken by a woman who runs a restaurant.
Wili said the remaining containers are meant for a youth group, a security company and a crèche.
Resident Philiswa Meku critisised the City for wasting taxpayers money on the containers.
“The City should have used that money on other things. I cannot tell you what these containers are for,” she said.
She blamed the City for allegedly not following up on service delivery issues.
She called on the City to collect the containers before further vandalism.
Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairperson Ndithini Tyhido acknowledged that the shipping containers were provided to be used for community activities including youth development programmes.
He said he is not aware that the containers had been given to certain people in the community. Tyhido vowed to follow up and find out what happened.
Nwabisile Khumla of the Kuyasa Youth Development confirmed that one of the containers had been given to youth, but they are struggling to get funding to move it. “We are planning to fetch our container this weekend because we didn’t have funds,” said Khumla.
Commenting on the matter the City promised to engage with the community before deciding on the way forward about the containers.
The City urged the community to look after the containers and to report any acts of vandalism or anti-social behavior to the nearest police station or City’s call centre on 0860 103 089.