Following, alleged false allegations made on radio by the Hanover Park ward councillor, Antonio Van Der Rheede, several community members took to the streets on Wednesday morning to voice their dissatisfaction.
Residents have accused Van Der Rheede of ongoing favoritism and manipulation within the poverty stricken community.
“He is using money to divide our community. We aren’t mad at each other. We are neighbors, friends and even family but we have to recognize that we can’t allow him to continue undermining our intelligence and trying to buy our loyalty with a three month contract,” said Chairperson of the Hanover Park Business Forum, Godfrey Joseph.
“The same people are afforded job opportunity in the community. You have to be affiliated to the councilor to ensure you can feed your family every night and that is completely unfair. The Democratic Alliance (DA) are so quick to hold opposition parties to account but when it comes to their own, a blind eye is turned,” continued Joseph.
Joseph claimed the community have followed due course and worked through the correct channels to ensure justice is sought, however they have been dealt blow after blow.
“Every time we try to host a civilized meeting between concerned community members and the city, nothing beneficial comes from the discussion. We have been trying to meet the councillor half way ever since he has been in power but it seems he has no intention of doing the right thing,” detailed Joseph.
Residents also say they are frustrated with the ongoing unemployment, gang violence and drug peddling in the area.
“We are not saying we are not prepared to work together but when you go to the media and you lie about the conditions in Hanover Park that is completely ingenuine and shows that there is absolutely no empathy for the residents,” said Member of the Hanover Park Community Action Network, Yaseen Johaar.
Some residents have disputed claims by Van der Rheede that the area had seen a reduction in gang shootings since the deployment of the City of Cape Town’s Leap officials.
In response to the claims made by residents, Van der Rheede labelled claims as ‘political opportunism’.
“Majority of residents are happy with the security which has drastically improved safety in the area and any service delivery issue has to follow the correct channels.”