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Hout Bay fire victims to march on De Lille’s office

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Residents from Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay planned to march in Cape Town on Tuesday to demand basic services and an end to “superblocking” in the fire-hit township.

The organisers‚ mostly representatives from areas most seriously affected by the large fire in March‚ will hand over a memorandum to mayor Patricia de Lille’s office.

They also want De Lille to send “experts” to meet residents and have asked for the removal from their community of controversial City of Cape Town official Loyiso Nkohla‚ who they claim has “threatened them with the withholding of basic services”.

The city council has issued a permit for a march of 2‚000 people‚ who will be ferried to the city centre in a cavalcade of taxis. They will march from Keizersgracht to the Civic Centre.

The memorandum also addresses xenophobic remarks allegedly made by city officials during discussions over the removal of informal structures so the informal area of Imizamo Yethu can be upgraded.

“We find it very strange that our African brothers are called illegal foreigners. You will find out from the list that is with the memorandum that many of the so-called illegal foreigners are in fact legal South Africans‚” reads the memorandum.

Violence erupted in July when council officials tried to remove informal structures from the fire-affected area‚ where nearly 15 000 people were left homeless.

Shops owned by foreigners were looted‚ community leaders from two opposing factions were attacked and some had their houses were torched.

The city has faced criticism for its handling of the post-fire housing crisis‚ which inadvertently fuelled a factional battle in the township.

Its “superblocking” plans involve temporarily moving people while it installs infrastructure such as water‚ sanitation‚ electricity and roads‚ and creates better spacing between shacks to help prevent future fires.

[Source: Times Live]
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