Long wait for Siqalo res­i­dents

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ASANDA SOKANYILE

THE peo­ple of Siqalo could face a wait of two years af­ter Hu­man Set­tle­ments MEC Bonginkosi Madik­izela promised to move them to Philippi.

Two weeks ago, a ser­vice de­liv­ery protest along Jakes Ger­wel Drive and High­lands Drive led to one per­son’s death, dam­age to a petrol sta­tion and a fruit and veg­etable stand, and forced road clo­sures.

This led to a stand- off be­tween com­mu­ni­ties, with Mitchells Plain res­i­dents de­mand­ing that the peo­ple of Siqalo “go back to where you came from in the East­ern Cape”, and Siqalo res­i­dents ac­cus­ing their neigh­bours of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion.

In a bid to re­store peace, Madik­izela promised to move the peo­ple of Siqalo to a par­cel of land in Philippi. Two months ago, res­i­dents of Philippi em­barked on a two-week ser­vice protest. But ac­cord­ing to Loy­iso Nkohla, the head of com­mu­nity li­ai­son of­fi­cers for the City of Cape Town, it would take more than three years be­fore the peo­ple re­alise a “new be­gin­ning”, which is what Siqalo means in isiXhosa.

“How is he go­ing to move peo­ple from Siqalo to Philippi with­out… re­solv­ing the is­sues of peo­ple in that area? Be­sides that, there are pro­cesses which need to be fol­lowed,” said Nkohla.

While Madik­izela’s spokesper­son Ntombox­olo Som­daka could not con­firm when the more than 8 000 peo­ple would be moved, she told Week­end Ar­gus the move was de­pen­dent “on de­vel­op­ment plans”.

She said an au­dit would be con­ducted into who would be af­forded hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the new project.

Com­mu­nity leader Mon­wabisi Fut­shane told Week­end Ar­gus: “We have not been told where we will be moved to. We do not trust him be­cause there was noth­ing on pa­per.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

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