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‘Give land back to our people’, urge Kenfac residents

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The Kensington Factreton Residents and Ratepayers Association (KFRRA) are up in arms about Du-Noon residents set to relocate to Kensington and as a last resort, are planning a march to express their frustrations. Although the land belongs to Transnet, the Kensington-Facreton community refuses to allow this group of informal dwellers to move into the area. Kenfac residents claim they were not consulted by Transnet or the City of Cape Town and the land should be given to the existing residents of Kensington.

“We cannot have people from outside areas moving into our area,” said KFRRA chairperson Dawood Esack

There are a 1000 families living in informal settlements in the small township of Du-Noon, in Milnerton. Esack said one of their main concerns is that Kensington’s infrastructure cannot hold these people as the area is dense with the existing residents.

“We don’t have the infrastructure or law enforcement to deal with the moving in of another 1000 families into the area. There is already a lot of gangsterism, crime and people in Kensington who need housing,” said Esack.

He added that there has been no urban development in Kensington since Apartheid and that this would post a huge infrastructural and spatial challenge for the City.

“It’s not even people of our area that wants to move in. We say this cannot happen to our community…. especially people in the Factreton area who have had people living in backyards for more than 30 years and not a single house has been built to accommodate these people,” said Esack.

In June 2009, Transnet applied for a court application to have these informal settlements relocated by the City of Cape Town. The land was guaranteed to be given to the members of Kensington in 2009.

“The former mayor Helen Zille at the time said that the land would go to the backyard dwellers of Kensington,” says Esack.

“The community says they want to take ownership of the land but the City cannot violate our constitutional rights,” says Esack.

They have had several public meetings expressing their grievances to the members of the community, signed a petition as well as written letters of complaint addressed to the Premier of the Western Cape. However no resolution has been reached. They are in the process of directing written complaints to the City of Cape Town as well as Transnet.

The march is set to take place on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 where members of the Kensington community will march to the Cape Town Civic Centre, Mayor’s offices and Transnet offices. The logistics of the march will be discussed and finalised by members of the Kensington Factreton Residents and Ratepayers Association at a meeting on Monday.

The City of Cape Town said the matter is sub judicae and for Transnet to respond to. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)

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