City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis visited Khayelitsha on Thursday April 13 to get a better understanding of development issues and challenges facing the community.
Mr Hill-Lewis first visited a site which had been invaded at Endlovini Informal settlement near False Bay College and Makhaza.
The piece of land had been earmarked for a housing development before residents grabbed it illegally, halting the project.
He then held a public meeting at Khayelitsha training centre where he was accompanied by his mayoral committee members and other officials from the City of Cape Town.
However, the meeting could not start on time as the training centre auditorium was full, leaving close to 100 residents outside the premises demanding to get in.
The mayor first addressed those outside the premises assuring them that he would visit again.
Mr Hill-Lewis told the attendees that the City of Cape Town was working hard in ensuring that they provide better services.
He said it strives to create better opportunities and living conditions for its residents.
He said living in Khayelitsha does not mean that they should get worse services than someone in wealthier urban areas.
The majority of its Law Enforcement officers were deployed in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Delft, Nyanga and other black townships and not in the suburbs, he said.
“Cape Town is in the business of improving the lives of our residents living in informal settlements and tough conditions. I want to give assurance that whenever we can unlock the budget we will do that obviously within the law and procedures,” said Mr Hill-Lewis.
“I can confidently inform you that about 85% of cameras in Khayelitsha are working despite some being vandalised but I know that. We have resurfaced roads here in Khayelitsha.
“There is also a draft budget which the City is currently presenting. I hope you can all read and examine that budget and see for yourself how and where to spend each cent of that budget and the big chunk of it is coming here,” he said.
Ward councillor Lonwabo Mqina said he had called the mayor to see the land which was meant to accommodate 350 houses but that opportunity was taken away by those who invaded it.
He said he hopes that the mayor and the council could unlock the budget which was meant to develop the site and remove these people to make way for the project’s beneficiaries.
Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson, Ndithini Tyhido, told the mayor that the state of the graveyard in Khayelitsha was horrible and asked him to visit it to see for himself.
He urged the mayor to ensure that he keeps his mayoral committee members accountable to ensure that services are indeed delivered in Khayelitsha.
Residents from Qandu -Qandu said their community was sidelined when it comes to development opportunities and pleaded with the mayor to ensure that they are treated fairly.