CAPE TOWN - About 300 residents from Marikana informal settlement in Phillipi protested outside the Western Cape Provincial Legislature in Cape Town on Thursday as they handed over a memorandum of grievances, this as new provincial Premier Alan Winde announced his new cabinet.
Reading the memorandum, Marikana community leader Joseph Makeleni said Marikana residents were tired of fruitless engagements with the City of Cape Town which has repeatedly ignored the people of Marikana’s pleas for service delivery.
He said that in August 2017 the Western Cape High Court had dismissed the city’s application to evict about 60 000 residents of Marikana after it found that the city had breached the housing right of Marikana residents by its unreasonable failure to do anything to secure the tenure of Marikana residents.
“The court instituted that the city should enter into good faith negotiations to buy Marikana’s land or expropriate the land in the event that purchase negotiations failed. Instead of complying with the judgment and protecting our rights to housing, the city took the case to the Supreme Court of Appeal,” Makeleni said, adding that the Marikana residents demanded the city withdraw the appeal and initiate the expropriation process.
“The city has not even acknowledged our protests, we are dejected and angered by the way in which we have been treated by the mayor.
“We will never move, we are permanent residents of Marikana and we need proper permanent services. We are here to give the incoming Western Cape Premier a mandate of office, our demand to him today is that he withdraws the appeal before the Supreme Court of Appeal and we will expect the response within five days,” said Makeleni.
Accepting the memorandum, Winde said he was committed to making the Western Cape province a better province and to engage with community leaders and negotiate on issues to try and find a way going forward in the future.
“I have only been in this position for less than 24 hours. I want to say that this is the start of the new five-year term of the government of the Western Cape, and I want to say to you that I want to see how we work differently going forward in the future,” he said.
“But before we march to the legislature to hand over our document, let me first ask your leadership to pick up the phone, call me and let me meet with the leadership. I will even come there. Let’s talk about the issues, let’s see if we can find a way that we can find a future together. And if we can’t find a future together, then we march.
“We first try and negotiate first, so today is fine because it’s the start of the new term but the election is finished. I commit to you that we will make this province a better province. I will accept this memorandum and I will have a look whether I can come back in five days or not, you will remember I don't even have an office yet but I will come back and let you know where we are in that process,” Winde said.
African News Agency (ANA)