Members of the Bontheuwel community met on Monday morning to hand over a memorandum to the City of Cape Town councillor, Rosemary Rau, to express their dissatisfaction with the erection of what they call “alien looking poles” in their community. Residents on Saturday held a meeting in which a plan of action was adopted in order to voice the grievances with the proposed development in their area.
“We as a community decided that we need to act and we need to act today,” says Judy Kennedy, the chairperson of the Joint Peace Forum.
There seems to be some confusion amongst residents with regards to poles being put up in their community. Some were told that it is electricity poles whilst others have no information on it.
At Saturday’s meeting, residents vowed to physically remove these poles, stop the contractors from proceeding with the digging of trenches and to demand that the project be ceased immediately.
“We want to know what the purpose of it is. The workmanship is very shoddy, nobody knows what it’s for and who it is for because they didn’t consult us,” Kennedy said.
“As much as we want electricity we don’t want these monstrosities in front of people’s houses”.
Nadia Mayman, a resident in Bontheuwel, said members of the community weren’t consulted on the building plans in the community. She alluded to rumours that millions is being spent on this project. She believes the money could have been spent on the development of youth and of the area.
“We want development in our area but at what costs. Our place will look like a slum at the end of the day and if our place looks like a slum then people will start behaving in an unruly manner,” Mayman explained.
Kennedy says that the building workman on the project have been threatened because people are frustrated with the work being done.
“The poles in one instance was places in front of someone’s drive way and people are angry about it and they want to take it out on the workers and that is not what we want,” Kennedy continued.
Residents proceeded to walk to the council building in Bonteheuwel after meeting at the bus terminal in order to hand over a memorandum to the councillor.
“The memorandum basically states our dissatisfaction with the process that was followed and how residents have threatened to act on their own if they do not get answers,” Mayman explained.
Another member of the community agree who joined in to show her solidarity with the community’s action said that the council should first consult with the community before work can begin.
VOC News is still awaiting a response from the councillor. VOC (Umarah Hartley)