Houses damaged in N2

Houses at the N2 Gateway project were damaged by protesters.
Houses at the N2 Gateway project were damaged by protesters.

Last week, angry residents in Langa damaged houses in the N2 Gateway housing project and barricaded roads with burning tyres.

GroundUp recently reported that the Joe Slovo Women’s Forum had questions about the beneficiary list. They were also unhappy about the type of houses being built as well as a lack of communication from the steering committee and the provincial department of human settlements.

On 19 July, residents took to the streets, damaging houses, protesting and burning tyres in the road.

On 20 July, Langa was calm, but a small group of residents gathered at the traffic circle in Zone 27 and sang protest songs.

Resident Thulani Mabentsela said: “People who were moved from this land to make way for the housing development, they are the ones who are protesting right now.”

“There are 60 houses currently vacant, and there are 34 of us in Zone 30 who have been waiting for years for these houses … They must put us in these houses,” said Mabentsela.

One of the protesters said: “In 2012 we were living where the development [N2 Gateway] currently is. We were then moved to this land and we are still here. Now, we find that people who were not even moved are being given these houses.”

She continued: “Another thing … we keep being told that we are not approved for these houses. We are not told the reason why. You apply for a house. You are then told you are not approved.”

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Two members of the steering committee GroundUp spoke to agreed with the residents.

Simon Ncaza said: “Things are bad, for example, with the beneficiary list. There is a beneficiary list that we did away with because it had names of people that were not supposed to be on it, but somehow that list is back and is still being used to place people in houses. But when you question it, no one knows.”

Ncediwe Mtikitiki said: “I signed the document which said that it was definite that I would get the house. I still live in a shack.”

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, spokesperson for Western Cape Human Settlements Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela, said: “We are waiting for an assessment report from our implementation agent, the Housing Development Agency, to ascertain the extent of damage.”

“There’s a meeting scheduled by the area’s ward councillor for Saturday at 3pm where the group of complainants will present their grievances. The Department has offered to attend this meeting. All concerns will be dealt with during the planned meeting,” said Makoba-Somdaka.

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