Cape Town - About 100 marchers from Delft’s Tsunami informal settlement descended on the N2 Gateway housing project on Tuesday morning, claiming corruption in the allocation of new units.
Government officials, including Premier Helen Zille, Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, national Human Settlements Minister Connie September and Deputy Minister Zoe Kota Fredericks were due to hand over 106 low-lost housing units in Delft Symphony.
Yesterday, Madikizela had to be escorted to safety in George Kerridge, Vredenburg, after a group of angry residents confronted him at a housing handover ceremony. They claimed he was there to score political points and he and Saldanha mayor Francois Schippers had to leave the ceremony and go directly to the housing project.
This morning, Tsunami residents alleged corruption in the process of allocating houses in Delft. They also said many of the beneficiaries were from outside the area, which was unfair.
Spokesman for the Ministry of Human Settlements Vusi Tshose said residents had approached them about several problems.
“We have arranged a meeting to hear out their issues and explain the process… We want to be as transparent as possible,” he said.
Resident Nompucuko Majongile said: “I am 74 years old and never have I had a house. How long must I live like this while I watch young people from far away move to my area and get houses here?”
Thobeka Jeli, a spokeswoman for the Tsunami community, held an impromptu meeting with police and Zalisile Mbali, spokesman for Madikizela, and reluctantly agreed to let the housing handover go ahead.
There was also an agreement to meet Madikizela afterwards to raise the community’s grievances.
“We are tired of these meetings, because they never go anywhere,” said Jeli. “There is corruption in the hand-over of housing. Officials from the Housing Development agency (HDA) take R10 000 or R15 000 corruptly and then hand over houses to rich people from outside who skip the queue.
“We have raised this but the HDA just tell us that the allegations are baseless and they do not listen to us any further.”
But some of the beneficiaries who moved in to the housing project two weeks ago are from Tsunami and expressed satisfaction with the housing allocation process.
“We waited a long time, yes,” said Zoleka Kuse. Her partner, from Tsunami, was given a house two weeks ago. They now live together and are “very happy and grateful”.
“We went through all the proper channels and now we have a house. These allegations of corruption are hearsay, I think.
“People see how nice the houses are and then they get upset because there is not enough for everyone.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Badenhorst, of Blikkiesdorp, was also on the scene to protest against the exclusion of his community. He said they are not on the list of beneficiaries for any housing project.
Some people have lived in Blikkiesdorp for seven years, despite its status as a “temporary relocation area”.
At the time of publication, marchers were gathered outside the new units waiting for government officials and beneficiaries to arrive.