Angry residents demand houses

South Africa - Cape Town - 3 October 2019 - About 150 people marched to the City of Cape Town's Fezeka Centre in Guguletu where Marikana Community will protest the lack of refuse collection in the past month which has resulted in an increase in rats and an inquiry into the process for employing cleaners in the area. Photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Fezeka municipality officials in Gugulethu were threatened last Friday morning following a protest in the area.

About 50 angry residents protested outside the offices calling for the City of Cape Town to allocate houses to them. They are also asking for the City to make sure that houses are fairly allocated.

The protesters, who are backyarders, claimed there were houses ready for allocation but that people from other areas had been prioritised over them.

While protesting outside locked gates, their leaders met with officials to voice their concerns regarding the allocation. The protesters sang songs and carried placards that read: “Situna izindlu zethu nesitixo zethu ngoku”, “Phantsi Booi noceba” and “Indlu yam ndiyayifuna”.

Some claimed to have been promised houses which they had not yet received.

They also claimed that the houses were neglected and had been stripped by thieves.

Wheelchair-bound Nombeko Banjwa joined the protest, determined that she could not stay at home while other residents were protesting.

“The houses are finished but they are not allocated to the rightful beneficiaries. Why?

“I am on the list of those who should get a house but I have been waiting for too long. But the officials have been playing hide and seek. They have been postponing the allocation,” she said.

Mbulelo Mkhaliphe said the municipality should find solutions to the problems raised by residents and that the City should respect people by keeping them updated about housing developments.

“We have been willing to meet them. All we want to know is why are we not given the keys to ours houses. The houses are vandalised now. We cannot sit and fold our arms when houses are being vandalised,” he said.

Local councillor Luyanda Nyingwa said 60 houses were just about ready, but had not yet been connected to the electricity supply.

“There most important thing is electrification. We cannot allocate houses without electricity. Houses need to have electric and water. There is water but no electricity,” he said.

He said each area had a list of its beneficiaries and that accusations about houses being given to other people were unfounded.

Explaining the delay in the completion and handing over of the houses, he said they were waiting for the City of Cape’s Human Settlements to give the directive to electrify the homes. “We have asked for an urgent meeting with the office of Mayco member for human settlements soon. People should not be fooled. Those houses are theirs. I am waiting for mayco office member Malusi Booi to give us a directive” he said.

A scuffle broke out when Miranda Ngculu Sub-council 14 chairperson Thandi Makasi tried to address the residents. That sparked uproar from residents who claimed that she was undermining their leaders because she left them in a meeting.

Police were on the scene.