R200 discount for liking us on FB
A storm is brewing in the capital with many unhappy residents and hawkers threatening “to bring the city to its knees”.
Residents of Schubart Park, Mamelodi and Saulsville hostels, Itireleng informal settlement and informal traders are planning to take to the streets to have their issues heard by the Tshwane Metro Council.
Schubart Part residents still want to return to the flats and will go to the Constitutional Court to force the municipality, which owns the building, to reverse its decision to evict people.
The residents discussed the way forward at a public meeting on Saturday. They accused the municipality of secretly plotting to implode the building, having branded it unsafe for human occupation.
The Pretoria News reported a week ago about how the council planned to demolish the building, but the plans have been put on hold for the court proceedings on August 23.
The residents argued that they were never informed of the plans but only read about them in the media and saw companies bidding for the job doing site inspections.
Mashao Chauke, spokesman for the Schubart Park Residents’ Committee, said they found it bizarre that the municipality wanted to demolish the building while there were still some people who did not have accommodation since they had been evicted. They needed to be given alternative accommodation.
Chauke also accused executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa of refusing to meet them to discuss their problems and try to find a solution that suited both parties.
The mayor’s refusal will “see the city being brought to its knees” as many unsatisfied groups in Tshwane were planning to take to streets, Chauke warned.
There would be a series of marches with “all unhappy groups joining one another (to) march in solidarity and in a bid to make the city listen to them”.
“We are applying for permission for a march which will involve members from the Mamelodi and Saulsville hostels, residents of Itireleng, and the Hawkers Association.
“We are still trying to engage with the taxi industry to also join us as they are also affected by some of the things happening in the city.”
Mayoral spokesman Pieter de Necker said on Sunday that the city and mayor had had many meetings with residents.
“At this stage they talk to us through the courts. What more can we say while they know where we stand?” said De Necker.
Chauke said as much as they understood the council’s position on Schubart Park, it was still imperative for the city to meet them when they asked for a meeting.
“What if we have an alternative plan to resolve our issue? Where are they going to hear that, in court?
“They are accountable to us and should allow us the opportunity to meet them because we as the public got them into those offices,” he said.
Hawkers Association chairman Shoes Maloka said they would march this week and the other groups would join them.
The municipality was being unreasonable in removing hawkers from the inner city and they were not happy about how the mayor was failing to keep promises.
The hawkers had met Ramokgopa and he had told them he would stop metro police officers confiscating their goods, but he had not, Maloka said. “We are not happy. He had promised to get back to us in two weeks and would tell metro police not to remove our things. We are still waiting for him to get back to us. And when we try to go see him, they keep telling us he is busy.”
Maloka added that they were being removed from the inner city but not given alternative venues.
De Necker said the mayor had had numerous meetings with the hawkers to discuss their grievances.