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Cape Town - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has referred the city’s provision of services at the Bonnytoun informal settlement near Wynberg to the Public Protector.
Community activist Colin Arendse had asked the commission to investigate conditions at the settlement.
“The city’s claim that they are pro-poor is a barefaced lie and their actions at Bonnytoun bear testimony to this,” Arendse said.
SAHRC provincial manager Melanie Lue Dugmore informed him that the commission had heard complaints such as cleaning contractors not properly monitored, and toilets being serviced once a month or even once every five months.
“The SAHRC has assessed the matter and found that the challenges experienced by the community relate to poor delivery of services, including poor maintenance and provision of basic services,” Dugmore stated in a letter to Arendse on Thursday.
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said on Sunday: “We will look into the matter on Monday and then comment.”
Arendse said the complaints were similar to the sanitation problems the Social Justice Coalition had raised with the city for more than two years.
Treatment Action Campaign founder Zackie Achmat and 20 other activists were arrested on September 11 when they chained themselves to railings outside mayor Patricia de Lille’s office. They had wanted a meeting with her to discuss sanitation problems in Khayelitsha.
The group appeared in court the following day and are expected to return to court on October 23.