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‘Heideveld community is not treated with respect’

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Earlier this week Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Lille, unveiled the first 30 houses of the Heideveld Housing Development. While this is positive news, beneficiaries have raised concerns that the City of Cape have been transparent in the process of construction and have ignored the issues that were voiced by the community.

Spokesperson for the Heideveld Action committee, Pastor Isaacs De Jongh, explained that comments made by the mayor that claim that the City could not get the community to agree to get the beneficiaries out, was unfounded since that “is not the job of the community.”

He further noted that the statement made by the mayor, who asserts that the City worked for two years to serve the communities best interest, is untrue.

“The ward council in the City cut off the local resident’s sub-contractors. Our people are now standing on corners unable to provide for their families”

The mayor’s address further noted that residents were afforded the right to choose the colour and style of the houses. This assertion, De Jongh explained, is inaccurate.

“When we told the City that we will run a Project Steering Committee (PSC), in less than a week, it employed a subcontractor.”

He affirmed that community members remain “very upset” about the manner in which the project was processed, as well as the fact that the mayor did not visit the area prior to the ceremonial handover of the homes.

“Patricia de Lille never visited Heideveld. Now, with local elections, she wants to come – we are fed-up with all the political parties,” De Jongh asserted.

De Jongh confirmed that the Heideveld ward councillor, Anthony Moses, apposed requests for support by community members who wanted to protest against gang and drug related activity within the area, as well as a march for transparency in the housing construction process.

“The City did not do what it is supposed to as the project was delayed for seven to eight years,” De Jongh noted.

He further questioned the allocation of the housing subsidies; where the homes are valued at approximately R80 000, the subsidies received per home are approximately R112 000.

“The homes are not painted, the floors remain bare, and no vibracrete has been installed – where Langa has solar panels inserted! In the white community, the city knows what to do, in the black community, the city is forced to do what they need to, but it does not give the coloured community that respect.”

De Jongh explained that while certain individuals have been on the waiting list for the past 28 years, those that have been on the waiting list for a shorter duration has been granted homes.

“How did the City do their jobs and choose? They [clearly] have not come to our meetings. Our people are now saying that ‘enough is enough’.”

De Jongh confirmed that he requested the City and the ward councillor to meet with community members in order to address the various concerns.

“We are inviting the media, the City, and Ward Council – let us be transparent,” de Jongh concluded.
The Mayor was contacted for comment, but was unavailable at the time of the interview.

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