Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers and Ward Councillor Patricia Francke interacting with resident Sinovuyo Mbana from Masiphumelele. Picure: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers and Ward Councillor Patricia Francke interacting with resident Sinovuyo Mbana from Masiphumelele. Picure: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Tensions flare in Masiphumelele over the allocation of temporary structures

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Feb 17, 2021

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Cape Town - Tensions are brewing in Masiphumelele over the allocation of temporary structures, with some residents calling for the removal of those who have been allocated the shacks.

On Monday seven of the 70 shacks that were to be erected at a nearby sports field were dismantled by sports players and community members.

This was revealed during Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers’ visit on Tuesday.

Resident Thembinkosi Matshanda said the majority of those allocated structures had erected their shacks on the wetland with no house numbers while those that had numbers were still waiting.

“On Monday it was agreed by the community that the people that are inside the structures should vacate them and allow the completion of the building process so that we all move at the same time.

“If this is not solved soon it will cause bloodshed because there are more people that do not have structures. We are all victims and it's not fair to the majority who are now facing the challenge of the group that's boycotting the use of the sports field,” he said.

Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers visited and interact with some residents of Masiphumelele who have taken occupation of the temporary emergency structures. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

The City’s informal settlement management head, Gregory Exford, said that they were under the impression that the sports head had signed off on the piece of land.

“We were clear with the leadership that the disabled and elderly people will be accommodated first. We also tried to look at family structures and are operating on a level of mutual trust, but people are lying under oath.

“The decision that was made was that people with no house numbers were not going to be allocated (structures). And we now have a situation where members of the sports body are saying they are not going to allow structures to be built on the field. This is the second challenge we have to resolve because we have a lot of people that are still not housed.

“We need to meet with the sports body to give them a timeline because if we are going to use the field we need to at least tell them how long we are going to occupy the land for,” he said.

Exford said there might be delays on the construction and that they were striving to meet objectives.

Simmers said that by Monday 400 units had been constructed, with 321 victims (sic) who have moved in while 79 are due to be moved at the end of the week.

“The remainder of the victims will be relocated at the sports field, which is an agreement that was entered into with the local community leaders and the HDA. We are working on permanent housing solutions because the first precinct structures are set to be completed at the end of February,” he said.

Cape Argus

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