Forum accuses City of delaying development

Forum chairperson, Jongile Welcome Gonya, deputy secretary, Lumkile Ngcongo and forum secretary, Nomvula Ndamane, talk to Vukani about the development of their community.

The leaders of the Driftsands Development Forum have expressed disappointment and frustration over delays in their community’s housing development project.

They say the City of Cape Town promised them that the construction of 2 500 houses would start last month.

The project is supposed to cater for residents of three informal settlements in the area, as well as backyarders.

They informed Vukani that they had had numerous meetings with City of Cape Town officials and Mayco members who assured them that all was well.

 However, they say, nothing seems to be taking place and no one has informed them what is happening.

They said the last meeting they had with City of Cape Town officials was in September last year.

The forum’s chairperson, Jongile Welcome Gonya, said the development was to have started in 2012 but there were numerous delays.

Mr Gonya said they were glad when the City indicated that they were finally ready to roll-out the project.

He said they called public meetings with the community to keep them informed, and said the City had advised them to elect a steering committee for the project and officials would endorse it.

He claims that they did this, but did not get the City’s endorsement.

“We don’t know whether they are politicking the project.

“The residents are slowly becoming impatient. We want houses and decent ones.

“We have been waiting for houses for years. We also believe that this project would bring massive employment opportunities for this little community.

“Should the City fail to make progress with this project we are going to explore other avenues, “ he said.

Mayoral committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, however, refuted the claims that the project had ground to a halt.

He said the City had hired consultants who would visit the land where the houses are to be built and assess the land * terms of how many houses could be built and what kind of design would be optimal. This, he said, was the early stages of the project and when the consultant had done their job then another process would follow. He said there was a lot that must be done before the project could reach the stage of construction but assured the residents that the City was fully focused on this project.

He could not give time frames or say how much would be spent on the project.

Mr Booi said he and City officials would be in Driftsands on Saturday to help residents elect a project steering committee.