Former mayor Patricia de Lille and Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi in heated exchange over delays in Imizamo Yethu settlement project. Pictures: David Ritchie/african news agency
Cape Town - A war of words has erupted between former mayor Patricia de Lille and mayoral committee member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi - this time over upgrades in Imizamo Yethu informal settlement in Hout Bay.

De Lille has accused the city of delaying the temporary housing on the so-called Triangle Site adjacent to Imizamo Yethu, due to a lack of political will in the Cape Town City Council.

“I am concerned that those political leaders now in charge after my resignation under-appreciate the urgent necessity for integrated spatial planning and the integration of our people,” De Lille said. She added that the city’s Triangle Site was due to be completed in mid-February to facilitate the installation of bulk services.

The planned redesign of Imizamo Yethu settlement by the city has been stalled for a number or reasons, including a legal tussle.

The city said it had embarked on designing and implementing a super-blocking project for Imizamo Yethu with the intention of establishing roadways for emergency vehicle access, water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure throughout the area.

The city said that subsequent to the fire that left hundreds of residents of Imizamo Yethu destitute in 2017, these services would see the quality of life and dignity of all residents of Imizamo Yethu improved.

In order to construct Road One it became necessary to relocate those residents in roughly 200 structures situated along this pathway.

This was required in order to open up an alternative access path into the area, because Molwekane Street had to be closed off to allow the civil work necessary to install utility infrastructure.

The city also said that it had identified another parcel of land for the temporarily relocation of the residents of the Road One pathway.

The land parcel is situated above the cemetery and it’s this that was named the “Triangle Site”.

De Lille said nothing had been done since then.

“The idea is not to chase anyone out, it’s to create space to allow sustainable communities to flourish.

“For how long do the privileged believe that the people of Imizamo Yethu will sit contentedly in their shacks on the hill, without water or proper sanitation, gazing at the splendid properties sprawling across the rest of the valley?” De Lille asked.

Imizamo Yethu leadership forum leader Ziyanda Phandle agreed with De Lille and said little progress had been made in the area.

“The community has done everything in its power to make its voice heard but the City has not heard us. Progress has been slow and the reason for that is because of the City, which constantly keeps postponing the court case,” she said.

Booi said: “De Lille’s comments are unfounded. Projects in Imizamo Yethu are ongoing and there are constructions taking place.

“It’s just an act of desperation to score cheap political points.”

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Cape Argus