Monday, March 04, 2024

Singabalapha residents rejects City’s move to relocate them to Delft South

About 100 residents of the Singabalapha informal settlement, situated on the Main Road, in Observatory, are facing eviction.

The members of the Singabalapha community (which means “We belong here” in isiXhosa) have lived there for more than four years. They originally occupied the Arcadia House old age home, owned by the Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA), in 2019. They were evicted and the building was demolished. The group then settled on the lawn outside the property and obtained an interdict preventing the City from evicting them in October 2020.

PHOTO: Mitchum George

The City of Cape Town filed an application at the Western Cape High Court in August 2023 to evict the families and move them to an emergency housing site in Delft South. The City argues that there is no running water, sanitation or other services, and is not suitable for human habitation.

Housing advocacy group, Ndifuna Ukwazi (NU), on behalf of Singabalapha residents, filed an application in the Western Cape High Court to review the City’s decision to rely on the Emergency Housing Programme (EHP) in its eviction application.

‘’Singabalapha appreciates that the current location is not ideal for upgrading but the UISP provides for relocation in the immediate proximity as a last resort. They have identified a vast portfolio of vacant and unutilised public land in Observatory, Maitland, Pinelands, Thorton, Mowbray, Rosebank, Salt River, Woodstock, Claremont, Kenilworth, Rondebosch, Newlands, Athlone, Lansdowne, Sybrand Park, and City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard that could provide the community with longer-term housing options in terms of site and service delivery. Relying on the Upgrading Informal Settlement Programme (UISP) can result in more enduring and sustainable housing solutions, fostering community development and urban integration,’’ it said in a statement.

‘’The City’s failure to recognise the UISP as a viable alternative is a matter of concern and is not rationally related to the City’s objectives of promoting spatial transformation, enhancing security of tenure and lacks justification linking it to the purpose of fulfilling the City’s housing obligations,’’ it added.

Done By: Mitchum George

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