Residents of Blikkiesdorp were told they would stay in the temporary relocation area for only six months. File picture: Sam Clark

Cape Town - Residents of Blikkiesdorp say they are tired of listening to the “City’s lies” over the past nine years of them getting houses.

In 2007, the DA-led City set up a temporary relocation area near Delft for families who had invaded unfinished units at the N2 Gateway housing project.

It was supposed to be a short-term housing solution, but many of the people who were moved into the corrugated iron units that criss-cross the sandy terrain of Delft have been living in this “camp” for nine years.

The size of the camp has also grown over the past nine years.

The Blikkiesdorp joint committee and City officials met to find a solution for the residents last week.

Mayor Patricia de Lille’s spokesperson, Zara Nicholson, said City officials were working on plans for two pieces of land for qualified beneficiaries from Blikkiesdorp, Freedom Farm and Malawi Camp.

These officials would return with developed plans and timelines within two weeks, Nicholson said.

The City would also spend a month conducting a survey of the number of people residing in the area, and residents would be employed to assist the City with this process.

Blikkiesdorp joint committee secretary Ettienne Claasen said, however, the community was tired of “empty promises” and he would believe the plans for relocation only “once they were written”.

“We were told that we would only live here for six months, but nine years later we are still stuck in this hell hole. We have written a number of times to the relevant officials but nothing has come of it.

“Until now we have not been told of progress by the City, provincial or national government. We have listened to the City’s lies for years,” Claasen said.

Nicholson said Blikkiesdorp was an emergency housing area and the City was fulfilling its mandate, and the Airports Company South Africa’s (Acsa) proposal for the development of the broader airport precinct affected Blikkiesdorp and had triggered the need for a possible relocation of the settlements.

“As with every other resident in the metro who requires a subsidised housing opportunity, qualifying residents are registered on the housing database and housing opportunity allocations are done in accordance with the City’s allocation policy. This is to ensure a systematic approach to the delivery of housing opportunities,” Nicholson said.

“The need across the metro is acute. For instance, there are approximately 300 000 qualifying applicants registered on the database.”

She added that the City had been engaging the affected communities on an ongoing basis and would consult at greater length with the specific communities when there had been more progress.

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Cape Times