Residents from Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa protested outside the provincial legislature yesterday claiming the N2 Gateway housing project task team was handing houses to beneficiaries from outside the township instead of using the City’s housing list.
The 100 residents said they represented about 2000 residents from Joe Slovo who did not recognise the housing project’s steering committee.
Protest leader Patrick Ntwanambi said beneficiaries of the two-bedroom units recently completed as part of Phase 3A of the project were not residents of Joe Slovo and were jumping the housing waiting list.
Ntwanambi also alleged that law enforcement agencies were forcing development to take place in the township without a wide scale consultation in the township
He also said residents did not recognise the Joe Slovo task team which was formed in 2006 and tasked to oversee implementation of housing projects in the towns.
He said the protestors were demanding that the developer use the City of Cape Town housing waiting list database and preference should be given to senior citizens which was not the case.
“We want the Premier (of the Western Cape) to intervene in the housing allocation process in Joe Slovo,” said Ntwanambi.
He said some 588 houses were completed and allocated to beneficiaries towards the end of last year of which most were not from a recognised housing waiting list and not from within the township.
Protestor Sange Majiki, 25, who had her two months-old baby strapped to her back, said she joined the protest because the housing project had been allowed to continue under watchful eye of the law enforcement despite the residents objecting to it and demanding that their frustrations be resolved.
“The task team (Joe Slovo) is misleading the community. It’s not representing us,” said Majiki.
Coordinator of the Joe Slovo Task Team, Mzwanele Zulu, said the protesting residents were a minority break away faction of the township who all wanted to be in power positions in the community.
Zulu said they had asked the residents to bring forward the names of beneficiaries who they claimed were not from within the township so the task team could investigate.
Zulu said there was a number of allegation made by certain residents relating to the allocation of houses but in fact the task team was responsible for allocations.
He said responsibility for allocation lay with the developer, Sobambisana Consortium, who worked according to the housing waiting list database which they cross checked with the City’s list.
He said the break away faction had started last year disrupting the housing project to an extent that they had sought law enforcement which was making sure that the project went ahead as planned, he said.
Ongoing protests had delayed the October 2013 for the completion of a total of 2800 houses, he said.
Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said it was clear there were divisions of leadership in the township.
\He said he would not dismiss the grievances raised in the memorandum of grievances he received yesterday.
He said the issue would be discussed with Premier Helen Zille and a decision to address the issue would be taken from there. — Peter Luhanga