High Court to hear superblocking issues

Issues that have stalled the superblocking project in Imizamo Yethu will be heard by the Western Cape High Court in November.

Last week, the City of Cape Town acknowledged the project had hit a wall.

Superblocking – devised in the wake of the March 11 fire that left more than 10 000 people homeless last year – is meant to build roads for emergency-vehicle access as well as water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure in the area.

According to the City, while some fire victims are being housed on the Disa and Depot temporary relocation areas, the residents of Road One in Dontse Yakhe have refused to move to a third temporary relocation area, known as the “triangle site”, above the cemetery on Hout Bay Road.

They have grievances about the site’s specifications, while the Hout Bay Ratepayers’ Association is unhappy about the choice of site, saying it’s unsafe with only one formal way in and out of Hughenden Road.

The City applied to the High Court for an urgent eviction order of the objecting Road One residents. The HBRA has subjoined the legal proceedings. The case will now be heard from Monday November 12 to Tuesday November 13.

The City’s legal representatives met with Judge Monde Samela on Wednesday September 19 to inform him about the urgency of the matter.

Judge Samela then granted the dates for the matter to be heard in November.

“The ongoing court action between the City, some of the occupants of Road One and the HBRA has meant that those Imizamo Yethu residents who have patiently been awaiting the finalisation of the superblocking project in the

City’s original two temporary relocation areas situated on the Disa and Depot sites are growing restless,” the City said in a statement.

“Without the establishment of Road One, the City is unable to commence with the superblocking project or provide any basic services in the area.”

Meanwhile, as the impasse has continued, the City has been forced to once again call for public comment or objections to the triangle site.

While the site was approved by the City, the approval was for a limited period of a maximum of 180 days, which has since expired.

A notice to this effect was placed in newspapers on Friday September 21.

Pamela Sofika, of the Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlements Block Committee Council (ISBCC), established to unite residents of the Shooting Range, eBhayi and Dontse Yakhe in their fight for basic services, said the City’s approach to Judge Samela was not surprising, but was a “waste of time and taxpayers’ money”.

“We all know that the triangle site is not going to happen.

“The Hughenden residents are against that site. It is not zoned for residential use,” she said.

“We have also told the City that we can’t relocate to smaller structures. They were supposed to negotiate with us on that, but it never happened. So that triangle site is not going to happen.”

Instead, the ISBCC had advised the City to relocate people in the Road One area to the formal
housing project currently being constructed on the forestry site.

“These households qualify for formal housing because they have been living here for more than a decade.”

The HBRA said it had been advised not to comment to the media as it considered the matter sub judice.