CAPE TOWN June 30 Sapa
Hundreds of residents of the flagship N2 Gateway housing project marched through central Cape Town on Tuesday to plead for Western Cape provincial government intervention in the project.
Chairman of the residents committee Luthando Ndabamba said they were unhappy at the way state housing developer Thubelisha homes was running the project. Though there were 704 units, Thubelisha had no office on the premises.
“If we have any complaints we have to go to the city centre,” he said. “We won’t get help [there], they will refer us to places like Johannesburg. That’s not nice.”
He said there were structural defects and plumbing problems, and the 704 units in the complex were becoming havens for drug dealers. “Everything is just wrong in that complex,” he said.
In addition, though residents were originally told they would be renting with an option to buy, the purchase option seemed to have disappeared. Ndabamba said premier Helen Zille and housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela addressed the marchers outside the provincial administration building in Wale Street. Zille had told them that though she was not promising anything, she would come to meet the residents and see where she could help. She had said she knew the problems they were talking about, and that she herself had complained that the project was a failure.
The units that the protesters live in were erected on land formerly occupied by shack-dwellers, many of whom have been relocated to more distant areas of the Cape Flats. The Gateway project has been dogged by protests and a series of court challenges over evictions.