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Parkwood residents not satisfied with councillor’s solution to barkyarder crisis

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After years of waiting on the City of Cape Town’s housing list, residents of Parkwood have been informed that land has been earmarked for their relocation. Residents of Parkwood in the greater Grassy Park met with ward councillor William Akim for a feedback session on the housing issue. The meeting follows violent clashes between residents and police in protest action embarked on by backyard dwellers who called for housing and basic services.

Organiser and head of backyard association in Parkwood, Dominique Booysen explained that the councillor confirmed that the City will be handing over title deeds to residents renting flats within the area.

While the councillor confirmed that a piece of land has been earmarked for backyarder dwellers who currently reside on the property of rented properties, backyarders fear that the handing over of title deeds may render them homeless.

Booysen said it would be in the interest of backyard dwellers for them to be given homes before title deeds are handed over.

“If they are going to hand the tenant’s title deeds then they first need to put the backyarders in houses, because once residents become home owners then they may put the backyarders out.

“The MEC said the last time that they the City will build 2,200 homes in Pelican Park for those who may be evicted. Many of the people believe that they must be relocated close to Parkwood, because this is where they were born and where their families reside.”

“I am not satisfied with the handing over of homes. The problem is that the protest was for housing and land for backyarders.”

Booysen said that backyarders would be willing to build their homes if land is made available to them along with access to water and electricity.

He further noted that the residents who are expected to receive their title deeds need to be informed about the cost of maintain their properties.

“Residents are happy that the City is going to hand over title deeds, but the City must explain to them that they will need to see to their own plumbing, electricity and sewage. There are old people who are living in these houses, how are they going to afford to pay to pay for these services.”

Given complaints that the City has not adequately maintained the council properties in Parkwood, Booysen said City authorities should refurbish the properties prior to handing over the deeds. VOC

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