News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

City backs down on moving squatters to Avondale

Yugendree Naidoo

The City of Cape Town’s has backed down on its plans to set up a Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) for Frankdale squatters next to the middle-class Avondale suburb in Atlantis.

Atlantis residents were up in arms over the proposed temporary resettlement of the squatters, saying public services in the poverty-stricken area were already overloaded and the TRA would bring down the value of the Avondale properties which many residents had spent their life savings on improving and maintaining.

The City needs to move the 480 squatter households from where they are living next to the Vissershok landfill site because it is unsuitable for human habitation and because they need to extend the landfill area.

The City’s rethink on their plans emerged on Saturday morning during a meeting between Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and concerned residents.

Zille reassured residents that the TRA would not be set up next to Avondale following the objections and grievances expressed by the residents.

But residents remain concerned that the City is still planning on establishing the TRA elsewhere in or near Atlantis

Concerned Residents Association Chairperson Whilma Liedeman said although the premier assured residents the TRA plans for Avondale were off the table, it seemed as if they were still looking at other areas in Atlantis.

Liedeman said both the mayor and premier needed to listen to the people of Atlantis, most of who were against the TRA being set up anywhere in Atlantis.

She said some Atlantis residents seemed to think they would benefit from the TRA but the did not understand it properly, like the fact that TRA residents would only have one outside toilet for every four homes and they would be living in corrugated iron structures. She said she would be “going out” tonight (subs: Wed) to inform people about implications of having a TRA in their area.

Independent Democrats councillor Cynthia Clayton said she, and Avondale residents, were happy about the city’s decision not to back down on their plans.

Clayton said before accommodating people from outside the area, housing and living conditions needed to be improved for Atlantis residents, an unusually high proportion of whom were unemployed and living in poverty.

She encouraged the community to participate in sub-council meeting and work through their ward councilors to prevent Atlantis from becoming a “dumping site”. – West Cape News

Tags: atlantis, Housing

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