A host of unresolved issues have led to a group of businesspeople and local residents of Khayelitsha forming the Phaphamani Development Agency to serve the people of Khayelitsha with “respect and dignity”.
The organisation met at the Khayelitsha Community Trust (KCT) building on Monday July 6, and had a press conference to clarify their stance and aims.
The group of mainly men, did not draw back and pulled no punches, accusing the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) and KCT of not prioritising the people of Khayelitsha but their own pockets.
Over the years, KCT and KDF have been at the forefront of development. The KDF is a community structure driving development of the area, while KCT is partially driven by the government to co-ordinate and facilitate the development of Khayelitsha.
However, the two structures are now accused of running Khayelitsha like a spaza shop and in the process enriching themselves, leaving those who are suppose to benefit from development of the area with nothing.
Khayelitsha has some unused buildings and land that the newly-established organisation want to use to benefit all it says. The organisation said there is potential to change Khayelitsha into a suburb that can provide job opportunities for its people if people use its resources well.
The issue of Khayelitsha being run by “outsiders” featured significantly throughout the press conference.
The chairman of the group Zolile Feni said: “We have engaged all stakeholders to be where we are today. We have put our heads together because we want to enhance the township economy. Life is worse than before and we cannot allow that. Phaphama is here to pick up the pieces. The people who are running Khayelitsha are outsiders. The offices of KCT are based in Bellville. These are people who have no Khayelitsha people’s interest at heart. We cannot be in charge of Gugulethu or Nyanga while we are in Khayelitsha. It does not happen,” he said.
He said KCT has been unable to provide services for people of Khayelitsha. “Khayelitsha needs to be economically sound. To produce jobs. People of Khayelitsha need to stop running to trains to seek jobs elsewhere. That is where KCT is failing us. We cannot say much about KDF – it is just a trailer behind a Quantum taking money elsewhere,” said Mr Feni.
Phaphama president Derick Mtsolo said: “We cater for all at Phaphamani. I want a KCT that is working for everyone and is based here. But we are now working to improve the lives of the Khayelitsha people,” he said.
The public relations officer of the organisation, Xolani Tshandu, said they invited all stakeholders to be part of the organisation. He also said that the organisation wants to develop the land of Khayelitsha to benefit all, young and old.
He said KCT failed to do that because it was not based in Khayelitsha and the chairman does not stay in Khayelitsha.
However, KCT chief executive officer, Mkhululi Gaula, said he was clueless that there is an organisation vying with them.
He said there are rumours that certain people have occupied the KCT building in Khayelitsha and they were busy with evictions. “There is no official word from them and we have not been consulted,” he said.
Responding to accusations of not having Khayelitsha’s interest at heart, he said that is not true because there are many Khayelitsha people on the board. “This is amazing because we have been working in Khayelitsha since 2003. Now 17 years later there are such accusations. But as I have said there is no official word from them to us and we do not know the motive behind all this. Rumours are that these are respectable leaders,” he said.
KDF chairman, Ndithini Tyhido, said the agency’s demands are partly genuine. He said business wise, their demands are legitimate. He however, defended his organisation buy saying the KDF’s task was to bring people together not to run businesses and land in Khayelitsha.
He said KDF is willing to work with anyone as long as that organisation has interest in Khayelitsha’s people. “We can only win these things when we work together.
As KDF, we are open to any progressive directive and ideas,”