Young people across the country are hungry for opportunities

Ward 87 councillor Mlulami Velem accepting a memorandum of demands from Taiwan residents.

Angry residents of the informal settlements in Ward 87 took to the streets, in the rain, on Thursday May 24 to air their grievances about the lack of housing.

They marched to the office of local councillor, Mlulami Velem, where they handed over a list of demands and called for action to improve their living conditions.

Community leader Sibusiso Mdlankomo said they were giving those in power 10 days to respond positively to their demands or residents would disrupt the traffic on main roads and burn tyres wherever they felt it would make an impact.

“We know our playing ground, the N2. We will close that road,” he warned.“With the heavy rains coming, we will not have peaceful nights.’

“We have been promised that housing will be developed but that has not happened.

“We are tired of unfulfilled promises and now is the time to take action.”

He added that housing was one of the biggest challenges facing the residents of informal settlements in the ward, which included Zola Square, Maphelo, Khunqu (Bathandwa Ndondo), Shukushukuma and BT Section.

Highlighting the difficulties faced in Taiwan, he said: “With no drainage system and electricity, our lives and the lives of our children are at risk.

“We feel we have a right to a dignified life and proper services. We are now appealing to the City of Cape Town to perform its mandated duty and work for all of us, not just white suburbia. Our lives also matter,” he said.

Mr Velem said he understood the people’s frustration and that their concerns had been tabled with both the City and the provincial Department of Human Settlements.

In addition to this, he said, their grievances had been raised in many sub-council meetings including the one they had had the previous day (Wednesday May 23).

He promised to pass the residents’ memorandum on to the relevant authorities.

When Vukani contacted the Department of Human Settlements, we were told they were aware of the memorandum and that MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela would be meeting with the residents to address this matter.

The department said Taiwan formed part of the Southern Corridor development which would yield over 51 000 housing opportunities in areas such as Kanana, Barcelona, Lusaka, Vukuzenzele, Gxagxa, New Rest, Europe, Zimbabwe, Thabo Mbeki, Tsunami and Taiwan. It said the community is aware of this plan.

MrMadikizela’s spokesperson Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka said an enumeration study had been completed in all informal settlements under this programme and project steering committees had been elected to represent residents.

Planning applications had also been submitted to the City of Cape Town and the department was expecting approvals by September 2018.