Toilets are ‘a temporary arrangement’
Cape Town - Some Hangberg residents who live above the area’s major firebreak say the move by the City of Cape Town to install toilets is a clear indication that they are meant to stay there permanently.
In 2010 there were riots in the part of Hangberg where the 14 new toilets were installed three weeks ago as residents clashed with law enforcement officers wanting to remove them from the area.
The Hangberg Peace Accord was subsequently signed by mayor Patricia De Lille, Premier Helen Zille, Hangberg residents, SanParks and mediator Brian Williams in which it was agreed that the residents needed to move back to the wider Hangberg community.
When the Cape Argus visited the area this week residents said they saw the new toilets as a sign that the city wanted them to stay above the firebreak.
Erlston Gillian, who lives with his partner, Grechen, and four-month-old daughter Cliché, said he had been living there since 2010. Gillian said when the toilets were installed they were told that three families had to share one toilet. He said this was a sign that the city wanted them to stay because they did not have toilets in the area before.
Auriol Cloete, a resident who lost an eye in the riots, said the number of people living above the firebreak had tripled. “No one knows if the toilets mean they are meant to stay there forever because no one tells us anything.”
Councillor Brett Herron, acting mayoral committee member for Utility Services, said the 14 toilets were meant for the 32 “legal” families who were named in the Hangberg Peace Accord and who would relocate as spaces became available. “The provision of services is thus a temporary arrangement,” he said.