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Frustrated residents took to the streets to voice their dismay on the housing crisis in the Western Cape

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By Kouthar Sambo

Irate residents gathered at Roeland Street in Cape Town to voice their dissatisfaction with the housing crisis. Locals on the ground said the government has not responded to the matter effectively as they are tired since their human dignity has been stripped.

Residents marched to parliament in Cape Town, where the crowd will address the Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi, and hand over a memorandum, containing the grievances of the Group 4 Developers (G4D) leaders from various areas.

Chairperson of G4D Riaan Koeberg said they have been engaging with the government over several problems around the waiting list and housing issues with no successful response.

“Up until today, we never received good responses so we only have one demand today – that is why we need a delegation from our communities to be involved in government decision-making regarding housing and land issuing,” said Koeberg.

The government is the one to blame, explained Koeberg, since people have been on the waiting list for more than 45 years.

“People are getting tired and frustrated, and they are losing their jobs, sitting without income while having to pay high rents, and they cannot afford to pay it,” explained Koeberg.

Koeberg went on to say that this may be the reason people end up at informal settlements where they do not have to pay rent to anybody since “they can feel free and live a little.”

“We stop the process of the government placing people into shelters because we feel it is undignified. The only hope and dignity in South Africa we have left as human beings is to have your own house,” reiterated Koeberg.

Furthermore, member of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD) Abieda Roberts said she attended as an observer. She further referred to the protest as a “very serious bread and butter issue.”

“Every person in the country has a right to a home that is a sanction and haven. The government must ensure that every person and family has a home where they are safe and secure and can raise children in a good environment,” said Roberts.

Roberts added that people must make their voices heard through protest action to propagate active dissatisfaction of citizens.

In an unrelated incident, a separate group of residents took to the streets in the CBD under the umbrella of the Peoples Movement for Change (PMC).

This comes after residents expressed their dismay for “unfair treatment regarding service delivery” matters and access to a lack of economic opportunities.

A memorandum of demands was handed over to representatives of the office of the Mayor of Cape Town. The memorandum contained grievances on high electricity tariffs, unfair treatment of the informal trading sector, and the management of the taxi industry in the Cape.

Photo: VOCfm

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