Cape Town - A small group of Imizamo Yethu residents picketed in Cape Town’s city centre on Monday angry over families having to move to accommodate a MyCiTi bus stop, and the fact that their DA ward councillor did not attend their community meetings.
The group of about 20 people protested outside a building in Wale Street where the Good Hope Sub-council was meeting.
The protest disrupted the meeting as councillors Taki Amira (DA) and Bheki Hadebe (ANC) went down to meet the picketers. The ward councillor, Marga Haywood, did not join them.
Residents are angry that families are to be moved from the MyCiTi station site to 16 hectares of land nearby.
Community representative Samkelo Krweqe, 42, accused Haywood of not looking after the people of the township because they are not DA supporters.
“She only represents the white people of Hout Bay.
“She is only making a development for nine families with electricity, clean water and sanitation just because she needs the land they were previously staying on for MyCiTi.
“What about the rest of us that have nothing?”
Krweqe said that even during times of disaster, residents did not get any support from Haywood.
“We had fires that destroyed homes before the elections but nothing was done about it. She has to come to us and explain what we need to use to make our skin brighter.”
Monday’s protest comes just days after the Johnson Mayeki branch of the ANC in Hout Bay wrote to Haywood “insisting” that she attend an “apolitical meeting” about the construction of the MyCiTi bus stop on the corner of Nelson Mandela and Hout Bay Main roads.
The branch’s Barry Mitchell wrote that residents also wanted her to explain the council’s plans to move families.
He said the branch executive and 1 000 residents felt that Haywood’s absence “from our community… has hampered the community’s input into this development, thereby leading to conflict, division and tension about an already contentious issue”.
But Haywood said in response that she did not believe that a political party had the right to demand a public representative of another political party to attend a meeting.
“Not only do I not fall under the authority of the ANC/SACP, but this request is a vote of no confidence and a slap in the face of the public representatives and councillors representing your own party.”
Haywood said the branch had been advised to contact the officials responsible, for more information about the relocation of the families to make way for the MyCiTi bus stop.
But Mitchell said Haywood was shirking her responsibility as the ward councillor and that her refusal to attend a public meeting was in breach of the code of conduct for councillors.
On the pavement outside the building in Wale Street, Hadebe and Amira explained to the group that decisions about MyCiTi bus routes and infrastructure were dealt with by the council, not the subcouncil. He assured the group that there would be an opportunity to raise their concerns at a public meeting.