Committee to seek solutions for Isiqalo

Tamie Mayeki, from Isiqalo informal settlement, New Woodlands Ratepayers Associatioon chairman Shahien van Nelson, Byrone de Villiers, chairman of Highlands Village neighbourhood watch, Rashmiya Lucas, chairperson of Collville Residents Association (Colorado and London Village); and Thelma Tshabile, from Isiqalo

Mitchell’s Plain and Isiqalo informal settlement residents have been tasked with setting up a steering committee, who will play an integral part in profiling their respective communities’ need for housing.

This comes after Bonginkosi Madikizela, leader of the DA in the Western Cape and MEC for Human Settlements, met with representatives from both communities at the council’s Lentegeur administration office on Saturday May 5.

He said Isiqalo residents will form part of additional houses to be built, in the already planned 800 houses due to be built in 2022 as part of the Southern Corridor housing development. Part of this development will be located in New Woodlands in Ward 75 and will accommodate residents of nearby Kosovo informal settlement which borders The Leagues, off New Eisleben

According to the department, the project should be completed by 2022 at a cost of R1.5 billion – if all approvals are in place. “There is enough land to accommodate Isiqalo residents,” Mr Madikezela said.

He said it was important to profile the community, to assess the housing need.

“We need to make sure that housing waiting list applicants meet the criteria to be relocated into houses,” he said.

The meeting followed violent protests along Jakes Gerwel, between the R300 and Highlands Drive last week, which led to road closures in the vicinity, forcing nearby Mitchell’s Plain residents on their way to work and school to look for alternative ways to exit the township.

Mr Madikizela said the City of Cape Town had been handling the matter for the past seven years but it was now time for the provincial government to intervene.

He said the City will not be buying the land and that he would meet with Robert Ross, the land owner to ask about providing temporary municipal services.

Failing which, the government would pursue expropriating the land without compensation. “The way forward is very clear – both communities must elect members who will form part of a steering committee,” he said.

There would be two committees, one dealing with the beneficiaries and those directly affected by the housing project; and the other including the broader Mitchell’s Plain and Isiqalo communities and government stakeholders.

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, said a feasibility study was done and that the land was not fit for habitation.

“It is a floodplain and its foundation had been eroded by illegal sand mining,” she said.

Residents had until Monday March 5 to submit comment on the rezoning of the property for possible development on the corner of the R300 (Cape Flats Freeway) and New Eisleben Road (Precinct 1); and the Kosovo informal settlement bound by the freeway, Weltevreden Parkway, Philippi Stadium and rail reserve, Philippi Weltevreden Valley (Precinct 2) (“Backyarders pin hopes on new development,” Plainsman February 21).

Precinct 1 needs to be rezoned to develop the property into residential township, comprising of 800 subsidised housing units.

Precinct 2 needs to be rezoned to build 5 000 subsidised housing units.

The project, referred to as the Southern Corridor housing project, focuses on a number of informal settlements along the N2 of which Kosovo is one (“Horns lock over housing,” Plainsman July 19, 2017).