South Africa Cape Town, The City says that it has completed 851 units for verified Masiphumelele fire victims. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
South Africa Cape Town, The City says that it has completed 851 units for verified Masiphumelele fire victims. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Masiphumelele community leaders slam City of Cape Town over temporary housing

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Masiphumelele community leaders have slammed a statement from the City announcing the completion of 851 emergency housing units for the community’s verified December fire victims, saying that it was premature since there were still problems hanging over the project.

While Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi shared positive sentiments regarding the initiative community leaders back in the community said they were not impressed by the City’s conduct during the process and the lack of transparency that has left them with any questions about the project.

The initiative which was put in motion late last year after the disastrous incident occurred has taken almost four months to complete and left in its wake disgruntled residents and an irate group of community leaders who are claiming that they were sidelined from the project and are being denied the opportunity to hold the City accountable for some of its questionable decisions.

Speaking to the Cape Argus, community leader Lunga Mathambo said, while leaders in the community would not stand in the way of their residents receiving help, the group intended to hold the City accountable for the way it conducted itself during the emergency housing process.

Mathambo said: “We are not happy, and honestly how could we be when the City only sought to sow division amongst us. Instead of working with us as community leaders, the City put in place its own group of community leaders, and to add to that the City is refusing to come forward and account for some of the processes they conducted.

“They won’t even disclose to us how much each unit cost to build or why they saw it fit to not stick to the promises that they made to our residents in the beginning. We are not happy with either the City or the Minister of Human Settlements. We won’t let this go unsolved,” said Mathambo.

Meanwhile, Booi said: “‘The project has unfortunately been delayed by violence, intimidation, and even petrol-bomb attacks, but our teams have pushed through to help, especially the many mothers and children who were affected by the fire.

“We thank the community and the various leadership groupings in Masiphumelele, as well as partners in the community, for their support and for enabling the City to make progress. I am really pleased to have visited the community today and to see the great strides that have been made to accommodate the fire victims,’” said Booi.

Cape Argus

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