Khayelit­sha res­i­dents tired of prom­ises

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - TSHEGO LEPULE

THE des­per­ate need for the pro­vi­sion of hous­ing for those liv­ing in in­for­mal set­tle­ments and an ad­di­tional two po­lice sta­tions topped the list of de­mands from Khayelit­sha res­i­dents dur­ing an Im­bizo.

This came up dur­ing a re­cent re­port-back ses­sion hosted by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Ser­vice and Ad­min­is­tra­tion as well as Deputy Min­is­ter for Hu­man Set­tle­ments, Zou Kota-Fred­er­icks, fol­low­ing a meet­ing in the area six months ago.

But res­i­dents took the op­por­tu­nity to tell gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials that they were tired of prom­ises and in­stead were look­ing for tan­gi­ble re­sults.

The packed hall saw hun­dreds of res­i­dents air­ing griev­ances that ranged from a lack of proper san­i­ta­tion, de­cent hous­ing, the avail­abil­ity of drug re­hab cen­tres, early child­hood de­vel­op­ment cen­tres as well as more po­lice re­sources.

This comes as the So­cial Jus­tice Coali­tion is pre­par­ing to take the City of Cape Town and the Min­istry of Polic­ing to court to pro­vide ser­vices to in­for­mal set­tle­ments in the prov­ince.

As­sur­ances by the DPSA’s project di­rec­tor Met­san­tika Seopela that af­ter hav­ing en­gaged with the City and be­ing told that funds had been al­lo­cated for the up­grades of five in­for­mal set­tle­ments over the next three years, did lit­tle to ap­pease res­i­dents.

“The is­sue of build­ing houses will not take place overnight, the City has com­mit­ted to build­ing close to 4 000 houses,” he said.

But Nothem­bile Sondo was not con­vinced. The Mak­haza res­i­dent said she had been liv­ing in a shack since 1992 and has ap­plied for hous­ing nu­mer­ous times with no suc­cess.

For 77-year-old Edna Ng­wane who lives in Site C, the need for a po­lice sta­tion in the area was a top pri­or­ity as she stated that no­body was safe from crim­i­nals.

“Crime in Site C is very bad, our peo­ple are dy­ing, our chil­dren are get­ting raped and old women such as my­self can­not walk freely any­more be­cause we are tar­geted,” she said.

“The mo­bile po­lice sta­tion we have is parked in­side a shop­ping cen­tre and closes at the very time we need it the most.”

Chair­per­son of the Khayelit­sha De­vel­op­ment Fo­rum, Ndithini Tyido, said: “When it comes to ser­vice de­liv­ery, our pub­lic ser­vants need to take off what­ever po­lit­i­cal hats they have and en­sure that they do their work.

“The facts are the peo­ple of Tai­wan (Site C) have not had ac­cess to toi­lets in all the years they have been there, that BM sec­tion is lo­cated on wet­lands, when are gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials go­ing to do what they have to, to im­prove ser­vices? All we want as res­i­dents of Khayelit­sha are ser­vices.”

Nwabisa Mg­wadleka from Mak­haza said: “We are re­ally tired of al­ways com­ing to meet­ings like this one and hear­ing about plans that never come to be.

“We sit and we lis­ten and we talk but noth­ing tan­gi­ble ever comes out of it, just more: ‘We will do this in three years or we have budged for it or are look­ing into it.’

“We are sick of it. Khayelit­sha needs ser­vices, our peo­ple need houses, ac­cess to toi­lets, enough po­lice, ba­sic things but these things never hap­pen while we are ask­ing peace­fully.

“Some­thing only seems to hap­pen af­ter tyres burn but we don’t want to be crim­i­nals be­fore we can get what our gov­ern­ment promised to pro­vide us when they got elected.

“I for one am sick of these Im­bi­zos and sit­ting around min­is­ters, the next time they come here it bet­ter be with keys to houses for the po­lice sta­tion we the peo­ple of Mak­haza have been cry­ing for for over five years.”

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