With several protests and community meetings held in ward 44 over the past few years, residents have raised concerns about the long wait for housing and are now demanding an update from the area’s ward councillor.
According to a group of residents from Heideveld and Bridgetown, who met up with People’s Post last week to discuss the issue, having to wait as long as 20 to 30 years is “undignified”.
“The government has the money to provide houses to our people. If they can spend millions on entertaining politicians and rich citizens during the annual State of the Nation Address, or festivals held on New Year’s Day, then why can’t they place our poor families under a roof too?” questions Jermaine Morgan from Heideveld.
“We have to walk into the rental offices year in and year out, but nothing is progressing for us. Other communities have housing projects going throughout the year and their residents are being placed in homes. But why must our coloured communities wait this long?
“We seem to always be last on the list. And if we do get housing projects in the area, then it is a small [number] of units for our people. They are messing around with us. Some of our elderly have been on the waiting list for more than 30 years. Some of them are deceased already or have moved from the area to find shelter.”
Another resident, Mymoena Kalbey from Heideveld, wants answers.
“Our councillor must give us an update as to what is currently happening in the area when it concerns housing projects. We want to know how many people have received their homes thus far and how many still need to.
“We are not seeing many housing projects in the community and demand that he makes application to benefit more of his residents in the areas he covers. We are as important as other struggling residents across the city, as we also have families in need.”
Ward councillor Anthony Moses confirms that several housing projects are currently underway in his ward.
“I understand that many residents are becoming impatient when it comes to the housing waiting list. Just last week I heard about a group of residents blocking off a council flat which was promised to an elderly lady from the Heideveld community (“Residents take up for neighbour”, People’s Post, 25 September),” he explains.
“I have been attending several meetings with regard to housing in the ward. I can confirm that we are currently busy with a housing project of 738 units, which is completed and situated off the N2. The units have been occupied already, but there are still 15 units that need to be filled up.”
He says the reason why the remaining units have not yet been filled is due to potential beneficiaries being deceased or no longer wanting the houses.
“We are busy sorting out this issue where we will have to remove these beneficiaries from the database to accommodate other residents on the waiting list. Once that had been cleared, those who are next in line will then be placed. This means that the promised units will now be given to another beneficiary who is still on the list.
“I am discussing plans to build more rental units and currently advocating for social housing, because we have a group of residents who earn R3500 up to as much as R15 000 a month. I am trying to work with the City of Cape Town to have more housing components in this ward and will update residents with feedback,” adds Moses.