Media: Khayelitsha residents list their demands

20 07 2009

20 July 2009, 15:00 – SAPA

About 100 residents of 15 informal settlements within Khayelitsha marched under the banner of Abahlali baseMjondolo to Cape Town mayor Dan Plato’s office on Monday to protest poor service delivery.

A memorandum from each community with its own list of demands was handed to a representative of Plato’s office.

The protesters said in a memorandum they were concerned with the people’s living conditions and the city’s lack of proper intervention.

“We therefore demand that the city look at conditions of each area and come up with relevant planning for each an every area.

“And to come up with city-wide housing planning for all people who are living in informal settlements and backyards.

“Furthermore, we would like the city of Cape Town and its anti-land invasion unit to adopt a different attitude… when it comes to the public land which is unused. “We demand response from your office within 14 days of receiving this memorandum and we want you to convey a meeting with all the relevant city officials and affected communities to further discuss these issue,” the memorandum read.

Among other things, they demanded land, proper streets, drains to be cleaned regularly, municipal waste collection, clean water and adequate toilets.

More specifically, the “T.T.” section residents demanded the city recognise the number of years the settlement had been in existence and that the area be upgraded.

“We don’t want to be housed elsewhere and we are saying to the city of Cape Town in the meantime people of T.T. must be provided by basic services.”

Residents of “Q.Q.” section demanded the city “stop fooling our people”.

“We want to be relocated as the city promised us with relocation to Bardel Farm [and] we need time frames for relocation.”

The “Macassar Village evictees” said the city’s demolition of their structures they had built to “shelter ourselves was illegal and the city acted in a manner which was shocking to its residents”.

“We therefore demand our building material (that was stolen by the law enforcement) back as soon as possible, [and] that the city must look for alternative accommodation nearby not to the dumping site, Delft TRA.”

Another memorandum from the “U.T. section Egadini” said the density of houses was such that when there was a fire, firefighters had no access to do their job, “so we need streets in order to do that you must remove some residents and allocate them to a serviced land”.

These residents also demanded water taps “that are strong enough to last long” because they were easily broken. Also, there were only four taps serving four hundred households.

Other demands from these and other settlements included high mast lighting for security reasons, proper sanitation and more toilets.

Further demands related to complaints from the “R.R.” section that their homes were flooded in winter, they had no electricity, they wanted proper toilets instead of chemical toilets, and they wanted to be relocated. – Sapa

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