Shukushukuma residents call for action

Bongani Mbuyazwe

Community leaders at Shukushukuma informal settlement in Mfuleni are desperate for their area to be developed and have accused their ward councillor and City of Cape Town of keeping them in the dark about plans for the area.

Community leader, Bongani Mbuyazwe, said some residents had been living in the area for nearly 20 years and during that time had seen no development there.

He also said they had tried several times to engage with their ward councillor Jerome Fitz but claimed that he had failed to provide residents with detailed plans.

In addition to this, Mr Mbuyazwe accused Mr Fitz of having residents sign a register at his home rather than having actual meetings, which Mr Fitz has vehemently denied, saying that he had invited the leaders to have meeting at his house because his office had been used as a Covid-19 treatment centre.

“Sometime last year there was fight between a old and new leaders and I intervened because that fight was not assisting in bringing service delivery to the community. I don’t understand why would they put false claims towards me,” he said.

Mr Mbuyazwe said residents of Shukushukuma felt forgotten when other areas were being developed.

“We feel that we are neglected. We want to see development taking place in this community. We are leaders but we cant report to the residents about development plans of this community because we ourselves do not have the slightest idea.

When we have community meetings we are not reporting anything and yet we are leaders. It seems as if we are not doing our work. We are planning to mobilise a march to the ward councillor’s house so that he could take us seriously,” he said.

Among Mr Mbuyazwe’s main concerns is that shacks are built so closely to each other that, should there be a fire, it would be easy for the fire to spread, and difficult for firefighters to access their homes.

Mr Fitz said he had recently written to authorities asking for information about the development plans for the area but was still a waiting for a response.

When Vukani contacted Mayco committee member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, said he was in a meeting with City officials discussing development plans for the Mfuleni, which included the development of a rail service to the area.

He added, however, that because their allocation from national government had been cut by 50%, the City was having to reconsider their current plans and projects.