Cape Town - A tree has fallen on a shack at an informal settlement in Main Road, Observatory. The incident came after an email was sent to the City on July 5 warning of the possibility of the tree falling on someone’s dwelling.
The City failed to act on the warning.
On July 5, community leader Khululekile “Azul” Banzi sent an email addressing the issue.
“There is a huge tree there that looks like it’s about to fall. It is almost leaning over and there are ever-increasing cracks on the ground surrounding it. It is lying against one of the shacks and when it falls over it will do so on the shacks close to it as well as across the road, disturbing traffic. I was wondering if you could advise how to go about getting it sawed off,” read the email.
“Before I sent the email, I told someone from the City’s Health department and they said they would email the relevant department. I also told someone from Law Enforcement and they said that they would lodge a report,” said Banzi.
“The only communication I received from the City was when they forwarded the email I had sent to the colleagues of the recipient of the email. They did not even acknowledge receipt or when they would get back.”
Andiswa Magingxa said when the incident happened, she was not at home, she received a call from her neighbours informing her.
“Currently, I don’t have a place to stay. My laptop and some of my other belongings got destroyed and I don’t have money to replace or rebuild my shack.”
Housing activist group Ndifuna Ukwazi spokesperson Jonty Cogger said: “It is disconcerting that the City ignored the legitimate concerns of the Singabalapha community.
“Unfortunately, this type of neglect of poor black communities is deeply rooted in a city that historically favours the needs of the wealthy white residents.”