Temporary housing fracas resolved
The George Municipality says the differences between Zama Zama residents in Thembalethu and the construction company Aurecon have been resolved. On Friday 21 July about 50 people took part in a protest in the course of which tyres and a mobile toilet were burnt and a construction site was vandalised. The residents alleged that the temporary houses Aurecon has erected for them while permanent houses are being built, are too small. The municipality met with both parties on Saturday 22 July.
According to Nolufefe Switi, who is a member of the Zama Zama Beneficiary Liaison Committee, the temporary houses the company provided are not big enough to accommodate some of the families.
"We were angry because Aurecon and the municipality both have been ignoring us when we wanted to address our concerns and that is why we have decided to protest," he said.
Aurecon has been contracted to build about 180 houses for Zama Zama informal settlement dwellers and residents had to be moved to temporary houses while the permanent houses are built. Rinus van Raaij, Aurecon technical director, said he has no mandate to disclose any information and referred all questions to the department of Human Settlements.
The Director of Human Settlements, Land Affairs and Planning at the George Municipality, Steven Erasmus, said a number of concerns were raised by the Beneficiary Liaison Committee, including the size of the temporary relocation accommodation structures.
The issues have been resolved at a meeting with all the role players.
"The contractor responsible for the Civil Engineering Services is back on site," said Erasmus.
We were angry because Aurecon and the municipality both have been ignoring us when we wanted to address our concerns and that is why we have decided to protest.
Some of the residents that took part in the protest.
The Aurecon construction site was vandalised in the protest.
A mobile toilet bore the brunt of the residents’ dissatisfaction.