The process of fairly dividing and demarcating yard space at council rental flats in Woodlands has resumed.
Confusion surrounding the fair allocation for second- and third-floor flats will be remedied by this process.
Gabiba Rademeyer, community worker and a resident of the flats for around 40 years, says the process began around the time of the renovations a few years back, but was halted.
“They told us it stopped because of budget,” she says.
This was later confirmed by the City of Cape Town; that only some of the blocks’ allocation had been completed.
Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi confirms the process was temporarily put on hold, but, he says, it has since resumed.
“The City’s public housing department was not able to complete the enclosing of the Woodlands triple-storey backyards due to insufficient funding,” he says.
Rademeyer says they need this process to be completed quickly.
“I run a feeding scheme and I cannot cook on the third floor and bring the pots down anymore. It is too heavy. If the yard space is allocated, then I can put up the necessary things I need to be able to expand my feeding kitchen further,” she says.
Her equipment is spread “all over the place” to accommodate her scheme.
Her ground-floor neighbour, Sylvia Claasen, has erected a perimeter wall around her flat; something that has been done by many other flat tenants.
“I did this a while ago, but now I am told I do not have the right to remove my own vibacrete that I erected,” she says.
Claasen has been living there for more than 40 years and says she erected the wall years ago so that there is some privacy for the block, not to keep the portion for themselves.
But Rademeyer says this does not make sense, as the fence must be removed to create the demarcated zones.
While all three flats in this block share the yard space, this is not the case in all blocks, residents claim.
Previously, the conception was that the yard space in front of these flats belonged to the ground-floor unit, with residents already opting to erect fencing.
Booi says those who have already erected fencing to demarcate what they believed was their plot will be advised.
“The fencing will be erected on the external boundaries of the properties only. These properties are not subdivided and no tenant is entitled to any specific space. However, once the external boundaries are fenced, spaces will be adjusted proportionally to accommodate tenants as best as possible,” says Booi.
The project has already started and will continue until the end of this financial year.