Cape Town - Members of the Idas Valley Housing Committee (IVHC) will on Tuesday morning stage a “shutdown” protest to demand action from the Stellenbosch Municipality to expedite their housing demands.
The protest follows a community meeting held on Thursday evening at which the action was agreed on after the IVHC claimed the council was ignoring their demands for adequate housing. Membership is made up of backyard dwellers, some of who claim to have been on the council’s housing list for 40 years.
IVHC spokesperson Sherileen Phillips said: “For more than 40 years the people of Idas Valley have been promised adequate housing and nothing happens. Nearly three weeks ago mayor Gesie van Deventer told us they were looking for solutions, but they haven’t come back to us yet. This makes the community angry and that is why we protest.
“We’re in the dark as to the council’s plans. We cannot trust empty promises. We demand to see something on paper.
“They continue to ignore us and we’re at the point where we feel this situation is an emergency, so we will carry out a shutdown to make them pay attention.”
Last month, communications manager for governance in the office of the municipal manager Stuart Grobbelaar said: “Mayor Van Deventer has indeed made operational funds available to expedite social housing planning, for residents of Cloetesville and Idas Valley in particular, during the 2019/20 financial year.”
Meanwhile, on Friday an urgent meeting of the Stellenbosch council was called to discuss the approval of a draft municipal spatial development framework in response to comment and input received from members of the public, including the IVHC.
According to the agenda for the meeting, the informal settlements of “Cloetesville, Idas Valley, Kayamandi, and Jamestown - all within a 5km radius of central Stellenbosch - make up 45% of the Stellenbosch municipality’s total (breaking new ground) housing need”.
“Neither Idas Valley, Cloetesville, nor Kayamandi have extensive land options to accommodate the current demand,” the agenda read.