A number of Hanover Park residents have been forced to endure poor living conditions, after being moved to temporary housing settlements whilst the City of Cape Town revamps their old council flats. The residents, who are now residing in converted shipping containers, have complained of poor maintenance, and a lack of basic amenities such as running water.
Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat on Tuesday, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli said complaints had yet to be directly brought to his attention, with him instead finding out about the situation through newspaper reports. Despite this, he reassured they would address any such problems that were reported to his department.
“Fortunately this is happening at a time when I am conducting my site visits to inspect these upgrade projects. Hanover Park will be one of the sites that I will personally visit,” he said.
Some residents who were relocated to the temporary containers have complained of furniture and equipment being damaged through the move, and have demanded a reimbursement for the damages. Mamkeli has said that once such cases were reported to the City, they would launch an investigation into the matter.
“We will investigate each and every case based on its merit. We do respond when such issues are being reported to us as the City of Cape Town,” he noted.
Having spent some time as a ward councilor himself, he said he was well aware that these sorts of challenges came with the undertaking of such major upgrades.
The converted shipping containers are serving as a form of temporary accommodation to those residents receiving upgrades. The project will include the overall reparation of the council units, including new windows, flooring and walls amongst others. The upgrades are being carried out in different areas throughout the Cape Flats, and are expected to be completed in its entirety by June 2015.
“These are old flats that have been bare for a long time, and that have not given attention. We as this government are making sure that the people are living in conditions that are conducive,” he said.
He also urged those residing in the temporary settlements to forward any complaints to either their respective ward councilors, or directly to the Human Settlements department, so that they can immediately be addressed. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)