PICS | Cops maintain strong presence at disputed housing handover in Cape Town

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Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a hand over of houses.
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a hand over of houses.
Marvin Charles
  • The metro police had to maintain a strong presence in Morningstar, Durbanville, Cape Town, after angry residents tried to stop the handover of homes.
  • This after residents threatened to remove beneficiaries from their homes last week.
  • The mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, tried to restore calm.

A housing handover in Morningstar, Durbanville, Cape Town, went ahead despite angry residents claiming houses were allocated to people living outside the area.

Metro police officers at the newly built houses were on high alert after residents threatened to remove beneficiaries last week.

Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative (MDUI) chairperson Zane Williams said: "There was a High Court instruction and an agreement was reached between two parties [that] there must be dialogue. What the City [of Cape Town] has done is that they decided on their own, people have lied on their housing application, saying that they were staying in the area when they were not."

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He added emotions were running high and residents, who have been on the housing waiting list for nearly 30 years, were forced to bide their time again.

"The City has now left the community to fight among themselves over the weekend as residents were fighting, physically fighting. Everyone should be entitled to a dignified home," Williams said.

Last year, the City secured a High Court order to continue with the housing allocation to 166 beneficiaries after a three-year delay.

It spent about R34.2 million on the Morningstar project, where 166 breaking new ground state-subsidised houses were constructed. They have been ready to be handed over to beneficiaries since September 2018.

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The beneficiaries' move was delayed after the MDUI challenged the allocation process.

Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a ha
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a hand over of houses.
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a ha
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a hand over of houses.
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a ha
Angry residents of Morning Star tried to stop a hand over of houses.

It was then subjected to litigation and negotiations were successful as both parties agreed to a settlement in October.

On Wednesday, the police maintained a strong presence as residents tried to stop the handover.

The mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, tried to restore calm by addressing aggrieved residents. He also told them to respect lockdown regulations prohibiting gatherings.

Twelve beneficiaries received keys to their new homes on Wednesday.

Booi said: "We are hoping that all the qualifying beneficiaries will move in before the end of March. Part of the challenge is we have residents not willing to accept the areas of this proximity but it is an issue that has been ventilated in court and we have a court outcome to that effect. But our officials are making sure that the court order is adhered to and an amicable solution is reached."

Currently, the City has a housing backlog of more than 300 000 people.

Booi said the City was only able to build 2 000 units due to severe budget constraints from the national government.

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