Langa residents object to land sale

Concerned residents of Settlers in Langa who are objecting to the sale of a piece of land in their area met at the field last Friday.

The community of Langa is objecting to the sale of a piece of land by the City of Cape Town to a church.

An advert for the sale of Erf 3306, at the corner of Ndabeni and Mlamba streets, to St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission Church has drawn the ire of residents who say there are enough churches in the area and the land should instead be used for a centre to uplift the youth.

Speaking to Vukani, residents say they had already raised their concerns with the City and the local councillor, Nomtha Dilima, who paid a visit to the land.

Chairperson of the area committee, Lulama Gege, insisted that any open space or piece of land in Langa should be reserved for the development of the community.

She said the plot is meant for a youth centre or a business hub.

“We have more than 200 churches in Langa.

“We cannot afford another one. It is enough now. We need something that will help build young people,” she said.

The irate residents has even written on the walls that “asifuni cawe kulomhlaba”, which is loosely translated as “We need no church on this land”.

Another resident, Sango Bam said the open space was dangerous as people had been attacked there.

He said the land should be occupied but not by a church building.

“This is a dangerous spot. People are robbed here especially at night. But we cannot allow it to be sold to anyone who is not going to develop Langa and its people.

“We need something like a business hub, a crèche or a youth centre. We have too many churches and we feel it is now enough.”

He said they want to do whatever they can to prevent the sale of the land.

He said they have tried to speak to the City but did not get an answer.

Mandisa Giyose summed up the argument by saying: “No one will build a church on our land. That will happen over my dead body. We have our plans for this land. We are opposed to the building of the church.”

She urged the people of Langa to stop the sale of the land.

The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, Stuart Diamond, said the land has not been sold to the church yet.

“The City is processing the church’s application to acquire the piece of land. A decision was made by the then Ikapa Town Council to dispose off Erf 3011 to St Johns Apostolic Church, this portion is directly opposite of Erf 3306.

“However, the transfer of Erf 3011 could not proceed as the land was invaded before the transfer was completed, and it was then developed for other uses.

“The City is considering Erf 3306 as an alternative site,” he said.

Mr Diamond said an advert had been placed in Vukani, Cape Times and other newspapers in March. Residents had until April 23 to comment.