Imizamo Yethu residents whose homes were destroyed in a fire earlier this year were relocated this week. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA

CAPE TOWN - A planned redesign of Imizamo Yethu settlement in Hout Bay by the City of Cape Town has had to be put on hold following two separate legal challenges.

In a statement, the City said it has embarked on designing and implementing a super-blocking project for the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement with the intention of establishing roadways for emergency vehicle access, water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure throughout the area.

The city added that subsequent to the fire that left hundreds of residents of Imizamo Yethu homeless last year, these services would see the quality of life and dignity of all residents of Imizamo Yethu improved.

However, in order for the project to be successfully implemented 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 utility infrastructure.

“In order to construct Road One it became necessary to relocate those residents in roughly 200 structures situated along this pathway,” the city said.

The city added that it had identified another parcel of land to temporarily relocate the residents of the Road One pathway onto. 

The 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,” the City said.

In a separate legal matter, the Hout Bay Ratepayers’ Association (HBRA) had also opposed the temporary relocation of the Road One occupants onto the Triangle Site after negotiations with the City, as the Triangle Site is situated adjacent to some of their members’ formal residences.

“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 (Wednesday) 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 November 12 and 13.

The city further added that the ongoing court action between the city, some of the occupants of Road One and the HBRA 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.

“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.”

The city called for calm until the court pronounces judgement on the matter and noted that any agreement reached will be contingent on compromises from all concerned groupings.

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African News Agency (ANA)