From the news desk

Prasa awaiting signing of agreement by City of Cape Town on housing needs in Langa

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Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in Cape Town is awaiting the signing of an agreement by the City of Cape Town declaring the housing needs of the railway line invaders, in Langa, an emergency.

Some community members of Philippi and Mitchells Plain say they are upset following the news that Prasa signed an agreement with the community of Siyahlala to move them into their areas.

Councillor in the area, Elton Jansen, is alleging that Prasa secretly signed a memorandum of understanding with the shack dwellers without consulting the host community.

Trains on the Cape Town central line have not been able to resume since the dwellers occupied the Prasa property at the height of COVID-19 restrictions.

The rail operator is losing revenue through ticket sales at an average of R400 million per financial year and it is under pressure to resume services on the central line. It was granted an order by the high court in 2021 to evict the invaders who built shacks on the railway line.

The host community says it has not been consulted by Prasa.

The relocation of families living on the City of Cape Towns central railway line [14 July 2022]


Application for emergency housing

Prasa says it is waiting for the processes of the council to approve Section 68 – which they say is the application for emergency housing.

Prasa Board Chairperson, Leonard Ramatlakane, admits that the land had been identified and that the memorandum has been signed by all stakeholders, including the community of Siyahlala.

However, Ramatlakane says the consultation with the host community is still to be undertaken.

“Consultation only kicks in once the Section 68 has been approved by the mayor and declared that section is an enabler for the consultation to take place. So if the mayor has not declared the Section 68, nobody can go [and] consult. On what basis? Because the consultation will be based on the documentation – particularly section 68,” Ramatlakane.

Vice-Chairperson of the Siyahlala Community, Mvuyisi Mngana, says they have signed the social compact with Prasa.

In September 2021, the community of Siyahlala was supposed to have been relocated to the Eerste River, but there were delays as that community signed a petition to reject the land invaders.

Meanwhile, Prasa says they need the central line to be operational by November 2022.



Source: SABC

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