The City of Cape Town has been hauled to court by the Hout Bay’s Hangberg community. File Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has been hauled to court by the Hout Bay’s Hangberg community over what they claim was the council’s reneging on an earlier agreement over housing in the area.

Now the community, in court papers, has asked that the construction of an electricity depot on land where social housing was promised to them, be halted.

Community activist Lee Smith said: “After a week-long protest against evictions and the City of Cape Town’s failure to implement a high court order granted in 2011, the community took a decision to take the matter to the Western Cape High Court.”

In court papers filed last week, the community is seeking not only to interdict the construction of the electricity depot, but also a recycling depot leased to the Hangberg peace and mediation forum on another piece of land in Hangberg.

The papers state: “Damages suffered by the applicant (Hangberg community) with regard to the land for housing have caused the community to take to the streets in protest , fearing that the already limited available housing land is now being used for means other than prescribed.

“Thus it is difficult to quantify how much damage the applicant has suffered through these actions.”

The electricity depot project is being built on erf 9652 in Hangberg. It is one of four pieces of land purchased by the City to build houses for the people of Hangberg.

In November the City said it was weighing up options to provide alternative housing to Hout Bay residents after about 93 people were displaced when a fire ripped through a section of the Hangberg improvement development area. Families were moved to the Hout Bay civic centre as an interim solution, while the authorities found alternative housing for them.

Energy and climate change mayco member Phindile Maxiti said the City was unable to develop the land for housing due to various factors which complicated the process, including an air-quality study which disallowed residential development. It was then agreed to release and sell erf 9652 to the City’s electricity generation and distribution department in 2016 for the purpose of building a service depot.

An environmental impact process, including public engagement was undertaken. This is part of the City’s plan to take services closer to customers.

The construction of the depot is expected to be completed by February 2020 at a cost of R35million.


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Cape Argus