Lwandle starts to pick up the pieces

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Lwandle residents forage for usable materials after the City of Cape Town cleared the area to prepare for the rebuilding of their shack. Photo: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - The community controversially evicted and torn apart last week was on Thursday a step closer to being rebuilt.

On Monday and Tuesday last week, 234 shacks were demolished in Lwandle/Nomzamo after the sheriff of the court carried out an interdict obtained by land owner Sanral.

The scenes of desperation sparked a national uproar and on Wednesday mayor Patricia de Lille and national Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu agreed to intervene.

On Thursday, the Ses’Khona People’s Rights Movement and the councillors for wards 85 and 86 met to thrash out the finer details of the agreement.

Late on Thursday, they announced they had agreed “that Sanral must take responsibility for rebuilding 849 structures and at the size of 6m by 3m”.

The parties also agreed the city would provide 45 chemical toilets, which would be replaced by full flush toilets within two months, on the periphery of the Sanral-owned land, on a strip of road reserve owned by the city.

“The city will also provide water standpipes and the Housing Development Agency will consult with Eskom regarding the provision of electricity,” the joint statement read.

They further agreed, in the form of a written undertaking by De Lille, that the city would ensure “that those who were recently evicted from Sanral land as well as all the families from the road reserve will receive their individual serviced sites (water, sanitation and electricity) to be included in the broader development plan of the Macassar precinct”.

The first sites will be ready for occupation by November next year.

Meanwhile, contractors began clearing the Lwandle site on Thursday. It is littered with rubbish, debris from inside the broken-down houses, and mangled building materials.

Scores of people could have been picking between the heaps to salvage what they could – planks, chipboard, carpets, mats. But most people canvassed by the Cape Argus said they would await the expected arrival of “emergency housing starter kits”, which usually comprise poles, galvanised corrugated steel roof sheets, a door with a lockset or padlock, and a window.

However, Ses’Khona declined the city’s offer of these, and has demanded that Sanral provide different kits for bigger units – paid for by Sanral.

First the site will be cleared, cleaned and marked out. A councillor on-site on Thursday said provision would be made for access for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks.

Sources said on Thursday night the progress was now entirely in Sanral’s hands, as demanded by Ses’Khona.

Cape Argus


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