04 March 2014
Siqalo Protest Action Inquiry was held at the Colorado Community Hall in
Mitchells Plain on March 3rd 2014. Attendees included Mayor Patricia
De Lille accompanied by a panel of representatives from the City of Cape Town,
members of the Colorado Park and Ronde Vlei communities, as well as small
contingent representing the community of Siqalo.
Patricia de Lille opened the meeting with an introduction outlining key points
on the agenda and commented on the City’s role, stating that ‘there are 204
informal settlements the City must deal with on a daily basis’.
first speaker Mayoral Committee Member for transport Brett Herron stated that
the city would construct barriers along Vanguard Drive in the next three weeks
to cordon off access from the informal settlement.
point of discussion was presented by Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and
Security JP Smith, he explained that the City does not have bottomless
resources and cannot solve problems that are meant to be solved by someone
“with bigger pockets”. He also outlined steps that the City has taken to
address complaints presented by the civic association; these included the
issuing of fines for various traffic violations and the pending construction of
Camera’s in the area.
third point of discussion presented by Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg was
services delivery, he explained that residents of Siqalo were concerned about
water and waste disposal, in response 100 toilets were constructed on the
periphery of the informal settlement, as well as an additional 200 flush
toilets. The speaker added that property, including electric infrastructure,
has since been vandalised and will be replaced only when it is safe to do so.
Mayor Patricia de Lille then stated that the land under discussion is private
property and that court proceedings are scheduled for the 12th of
May. With regards to protest action, she says “we have started, to go to court
to get an interdict to stop people who block Vanguard Drive and prevent people
from going to work” and explained that SAPS does not take instructions from The
City, they take instruction from national government.
lille added that the City is helping the people of Mitchells Plain. The land
invasion was planned says Patricia de Lille “they sold land to innocent people
and as a result people paid for plots and they were promised houses. The inquiry
was met with mixed response by members of the community with one community
member saying “People are sick and tired but what are doing to help ourselves?
We cannot fight fire with fire” said a member of The Rate Payers Association.
member of the community took the floor and explained “we are not here to infringe
on anyone else’s rights but to defend our own rights”. Community members also
called on The City to take responsibility and to ensure that the situation does
not escalate into racial warfare, by “playing communities against each other”
and using a social situation to further political aspirations.
Labels: Siqalo Protest Action Inquiry held in Mitchell's Plain