From the news desk

Pooke se Bos beneficiaries receive keys to their homes amid extortion

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By: Aneeqa du Plessis

The elation overflowed at the Pooke se Bos infill housing project in Gatesville, Rylands on Wednesday morning where 15 beneficiaries received the keys to their new homes.

Speaking to VOC News at the event, Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi described his excitement for the recipients.

“We can finally see the jubilation on the faces of these much deserving beneficiaries who have waited years to have their own home and the City will continue to do its level best to ensure citizens who are living in informal settlements will one day experience this happiness,” said Booi.

According to Booi, the project costs R45 million and is set to be completed in June. Over 130 families will be afforded living opportunities.

For 67-year-old Dilcia Isaacs this is a dream she thought would never come true.

“I can’t believe I am standing here in front of a place I can finally call my own. I applied for a house in the early 2000s and have been waiting for what feels like a lifetime. I think I may even oversleep tomorrow for work because I can finally sleep with a roof over my head,” chuckled Isaacs through tears.

However, extortion around housing projects in the Mother City has seen an unfortunate uptick. City official, Wendy Kloppers was shot and killed last month at an expansive housing project in Delft. A R1 million reward stands for anyone who can offer information that will ensure the arrest of the perpetrators.

“We have asked SAPS to assist us alongside the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and we remain hopeful that we will find those individuals that are to blame in the senseless killing of the late official. We urge the community to be our eyes and ears and to assist us by reporting any illegal activity at City housing projects in their areas,” explained Booi.

Subsequently, The City’s six-point plan is in action to help reduce the incidents of violence, criminality, and coercion at housing projects which are threatening our affordable housing projects.

“We are doing our best as the City to ensure that we enhance security and surveillance across these areas,” he added.

Commenting on the issue during VOC’s Breakfast show, community activist in Mitchells Plain, Shahiem van Nelson said several questions remain an unanswered around the ongoing crisis.

“It is sad to see what is happening but the question we need to ask is who is behind these extortions and who is trying their level best to stop these projects and why, who benefits the most,” questioned van Nelson.


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