Hangberg renters offered reprieve

Residents renting City-owned property in Hangberg have been offered grants and rebates in an effort to alleviate their financial burden.

Councillor Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for Area North, announced the opportunity during a services roadshow at the Hangberg civic centre on Wednesday April 13.

Representatives from a number of City departments were on hand to assist residents with queries on housing and other basic services.

In a relatively new initiative, the City is looking at ways in which it can help disadvantaged residents ease their rental backlog.

“We will be looking at this on a case by case basis. People will be able to apply for grants or a rebate, or work with the City to establish a repayment plan they can afford,” said ward councillor Roberto Quintas.

Various departments, including Metro police, fire and rescue, parks, environmental health, social development and human settlements hosted information booths for the public, enabling them to register for housing programmes and other services.

Of particular interest was the City’s Base Supplier Programme, in terms of which smaller companies or individuals may register to provide services to the City amounting to R30000 or less.

Social services, acutely aware of the myriad drug and alcohol problems blighting Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu, focused its attention on teenage pregnancy, and the dangers of abusing substances during pregnancy.

In order to illustrate the effects of different substances on a baby, the City has commissioned the production of a number of dolls which exhibit varying behaviours.

A drug doll, for example, appears underweight and trembles uncontrollably, while a foetal slcohol syndrome doll bears the facial markings commonly associated with the disorder.

These are then compared to a doll that is completely healthy in appearance.

“It has been a pleasure to see a number of younger people dropping by to acquaint themselves with the various services. We are aware that it is not always easy to access information,” Mr Quintas said.

Peace and Mediation Forum secretary and social development co-ordinator, Warren Abrahams, thanked the City representatives for bringing the roadshow to Hout Bay.

“The residents were assisted to be placed on the housing waiting list, while they were also briefed on revenue, health, social, fire and rescue and environmental issues.

“We hope that this is the first initiative and many more will follow,” he said.