News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Philippi protests over lack of electricity continue


Lansdowne Road, which runs from Cape Town’s southern suburbs through Gugulethu to Khayelitsha, was again the site of a protest yesterday, as residents of Philippi’s Siyahlala informal settlement continued their protest over lack of electrification in the area.

The road was closed for about five hours on Saturday when residents burnt tyres and placed large rocks across the road, damaged traffic lights and road signs, and set vendors’ stalls alight.

The protest flared up again yesterday morning, disrupting traffic.

About 100 Siyahlala residents took part in the protest yesterday, accusing their previous ward councillor, ANC elected Moses Baskiti, of holding back plans to install electricity in the settlement.

They claim Baskiti advised the City of Cape Town to halt plans to electrify the settlement, forcing the residents to either make of use of dangerous illegal connections or use flammable paraffin stoves.

“Residents are tired of using illegal connections, they demand electricity. Our former ward councillor did nothing for us, he never serviced our area even though we voted for him,” said Siyahlala residents’ committee member Sango Nompozolo.

He said it was hoped the new ANC-elected ward councillor Thembinkosi Pupa, who was elected into office following last year’s local government elections, would change their situation.

Pupa said Siyahlala residents were tired of waiting for services, which is why they were protesting.

He said the City authorities were aware of the problem and yesterday morning said he had met with Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille to “fast track” the process of electrification.

“The Mayor said the project to install electricity is there… She promised to push it so it will go fast,” he said.

Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Ernest Sonnenberg, said the land on which Siyahlala informal settlement was situated did not belong to the City and thus the City could not deliver services to residents until ownership was transferred.

However, Sonnenberg said was “making progress in acquiring the land” but the transfer had yet to be completed.

“The land will be transferred to the City, but we unfortunately cannot predict when this will be finalised.”

He said the City entered into an agreement with the National Department of Rural Development in which it was agreed the land would be transferred to the City “for the purposes of in-situ upgrades”.

“As part of our commitment to being a Caring City, we will improve basic services as quickly as possible and explore options for further service delivery in the area once we take ownership of the land. This includes electrification of the site,” stated Sonnenberg”. – Nombulelo Damba

Tags: Ernest Sonnenberg, Lansdowne Road, Moses Baskiti, National Department of Rural Development, patricia de lille, Philippi’s Siyahlala informal settlement, Sango Nompozolo, Thembinkosi Pupa

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One Response to “Philippi protests over lack of electricity continue”

  1. Nicholas says:

    Please follow up on this story we are tired of waiting, how long is this going to take?

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