City trying to find mediated solution in Hout Bay land squabble

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 20, 2018


The City of Cape Town says it is "working hard to achieve a mediated solution with the respective leadership committees of Imizamo Yethu as well as the residents of formal houses in the surrounding area" in Hout Bay.

The issue concerns the Triangle Site, where residents on the Road One pathway in Imizamo Yethu were temporarily relocated to, to accommodate the super-blocking project. It is situated adjacent to formal residences above the cemetery.

"The ongoing court action between the City, some of the occupants of Road One and the HBRA (Hout Bay Ratepayers’ Association) has meant that those Imizamo Yethu residents who have patiently been awaiting the finalisation of the super-blocking project in the City’s original two temporary relocation areas situated on the Disa and Depot sites are growing restless," the City said in a statement on Thursday. 

"Without the establishment of Road One, the City is unable to commence with the super-blocking project or provide any basic services in the area.

"Despite rising frustrations from all concerned parties, the City remains committed to continuing to mediate and to bring all three groupings together to find a peaceful solution to the impasse. 

"While we are looking at all possible alternatives to continue with the super-blocking process, this ultimately rests on establishing a shared vision between all stakeholders for the future development of Imizamo Yethu. 

"Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, together with the Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, and Ward Councillor Roberto Quintas, recently met with all concerned groups."

The City has called for calm until the court pronounces judgment on this matter and notes that any agreement reached will be contingent on compromises from all concerned groupings. 

"Subsequent to the fire of 2017 that left hundreds of residents of Imizamo Yethu homeless, the City embarked on designing and implementing a super-blocking project for the are.

"The intention of the super-blocking project was to establish roadways for emergency vehicle access as well as water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure throughout the area. These services would see the quality of life and dignity of all residents of Imizamo Yethu improved.

"To realise this project, the construction of Road One was required in order to open up an alternative access path into the area because Molwekane Street had to be closed off to allow the civil work necessary to install utilities' infrastructure. In order to construct Road One, it became necessary to relocate those residents in roughly 200 structures situated along this pathway.

"As such, the City identified another parcel of land to temporarily relocate the residents of the Road One pathway onto. This land parcel is situated above the cemetery and was named the Triangle Site. 

"The City then began the process of negotiating the terms of relocation with the occupants of Road One. Due to a number of grievances regarding the specifications of the proposed temporary accommodation and site, the residents of Road One have consistently rejected the City’s terms for relocation. 

"Unfortunately, the City was left with no choice other than to apply to the Western Cape High Court for an urgent eviction order.

"At the same time, the City also had direct negotiations on the matter of the temporary relocation with the Hout Bay Ratepayers’ Association, as the Triangle Site is situated adjacent to some of their members’ formal residences.

"The HBRA subsequently subjoined the legal proceedings and have similarly opposed the relocation of the Road One occupants onto the Triangle Site. Given the limited space in the area, the City has no other viable land parcels on which to establish a temporary relocation area other the Triangle Site.

"The City’s legal representatives met with Judge Monde Samela yesterday to inform the judge about the urgency of the matter. The judge has granted dates for the matter to be heard in the Western Cape High Court on 12 and 13 November 2018."

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