Angry residents of Khayelitsha’s TR informal settlement met with Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela on Tuesday evening to hear who qualified for houses in the Nuwe Begin Housing Project in Mew Way, Khayelitsha
Madikizela headed the three-hour meeting at the Andile Msizi hall in Site B where he dealt with some confusion apparently created by the ward councilor who had previously told residents that the 1 200-unit housing project was for those who lived in low-lying areas prone to flooding.
However, Madikizela told the approximately 500 gathered residents that only those who qualified for RDP houses would benefit from the new development.
He said beneficiaries would be drawn from both people living on the wetland, and also from surrounding areas. He said the manner of selection would be fair and transparent, with priority given to those who had been on the waiting list the longest and were most deserving.
Of the 1 200 units, 900 would be set aside for residents of TR Section and 300 for Mfuleni’s ward 17 and 107.
TR Section resident Zet Mcongwane said, “This is new to us. We were told that the project is for us, those who live in wetland. We have been waiting for houses for so long, now you are telling us only people who qualified will get houses.”
When Madikizela confirmed this, residents expressed their anger, shouting “we fought for that land”, referring to the two months of protests that occurred in October and November 2010 to highlight the need for service delivery and housing in the area.
The protestors at the time had set alight private property including a government car carrying matric exam answers, private cars, buses and trucks. The streets in and around the TR Section Bongani informal were strewn with rubbish, rocks and burnt debris.
Those present who had protested in 2010 accused the Minister of trying to divide them. But other residents seemed satisfied with Madikizela’s statements.
TR Section resident Nomthunzi Jam Jam said ward councillor Luvuyo Hebe had confused residents.
“What the minister said is very clear, I’m happy with the explanation. We all live in wetland but the worst areas are those who live at the back. Nothing has changed, some residents are just confused because of the ward councillor and they scared to ask questions. The previous ward councillor said not everyone is going to Nuwe Begin. I don’t understand the fuss because the 900 people that we agreed on will leave, then Madikizela will deal with the remaining people.” said Jam Jam
Madikizela confirmed that the first lot of residents will be moved into their houses in April.
“We will have another meeting for the remaining people and look for another alternative solution.” He said. – Nombulelo Damba