October 14, 2009 Edition 1 ESTHER LEWIS Staff Reporter
MEDIATION efforts between the City of Cape Town and the pavement dwellers in Symphony Way in Delft have begun, with little progress being made.
The Cape High Court ruled the residents would have to move from the pavement to the temporary relocation area of Blikkiesdorp, but left the two parties to negotiate timeframes, dates, and how many would be moved at a time.
Ashraf Cassiem, chairman of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, claimed the City knew of alternative serviced sites. “We want the city to provide us with other options if they can,” he said.
But Stephen Hayward, of the city’s housing directorate, said the place they would be moved to was non-negotiable at this stage.
Hayward added that the two-year time frame bandied about at the meeting was too long.
If they do not reach an agreement the court will order that the families vacate the area in four groups, starting on Monday next week, and ending on November 6.
After Cassiem chaired a community meeting last night he said the residents still did not want to move to Blikkiesdorp.
“But if they have to go there, they asked us to negotiate better living conditions,” he said.
Acting Judge Jake Moloi ordered that their temporary accommodation at Blikkiesdorp should be of a certain size, individually numbered, have walls and a roof of galvanised iron sheeting, have prepaid electricity meters, be close to ablution facilities and toilets, and have taps.
Mediation was expected to resume this morning.