This week’s removal of Patricia de Lille as Cape Town mayor has raised concerns in Imizamo Yethu that the superblocking process will be stalled.
Local political and community leaders have slammed Tuesday’s decision to cease Ms De Lille’s membership of the DA, resulting in her losing her seat as councillor and mayor.
Deputy mayor Ian Neilson has now been appointed acting mayor.
Ms De Lille has been a central force behind the superblockingprocess, involving the installation of roads and basic services in Imizamo Yethu after a fire raged through the settlement on March 11 last year.
She has been engaging closely with the Imizamo Yethu leadership in terms of housing and the roll-out of basic services.
The former mayor intends approaching the courts today, Friday March 11, to challenge the constitutionality of Section 126.96.36.199 of the DA’s Constitution.
This section says if a member publicly declares his or her intention to resign, then their membership ceases immediately. It was reported that Ms De Lille told a radio station that she would walk away from the party once she had cleared her name.
Many members of the Imizamo Yethu leadership say they will be there to support Ms De Lille in her court challenge.
They have also vowed to take to the streets in the event of superblocking stalling as a result of her removal.
“I am * *ssed off,” said Samkelo Krweqe, chairman of the SA National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Imizamo Yethu.
“Patricia de Lille has struggled for the black community and the poor. It (removal) is only a victory for the white people.
The DA has a way of using people like condoms. They use people and then throw them away.”
He said he would be at the front of the crowd of people supporting Ms De Lille at court.
“If the superblocking doesn’t go ahead now, we will make sure we take to the streets.”
These sentiments were echoed by Mkhululi Ndude, chairman of both the EFF’s Ward 74 branch and the Imizamo Yethu Movement.
“It is very painful, and we are worried what will happen with the superblocking. We aren’t going to rush though,” he said.
“We will get a mandate from the big leadership structure (in Imizamo Yethu) to plan the way forward, but we expect that superblocking must continue.”
He demanded that Mr Neilson meet with the leadership immediately in order to reassure the community that superblocking was still a priority.
“We will make Hout Bay ungovernable if superblocking does not continue. And if the white ratepayers think that we will not get the triangle site (earmarked as a temporary relocation area for fire victims), they must think again. We will even mobilise people from outside of Hout Bay to ensure the triangle site is used.”
He said the DA had put pressure on its leader, Mmusi Maimane, to remove Ms De Lille as white ratepayers were the party’s base and they did not want to lose votes ahead of next year’s general election.
He added that while he did not have the EFF’s mandate, personally he would welcome Ms De Lille to the party.
Community leader Kenny Tokwe said residents wanted to ensure all projects initiated by Ms De Lille in Imizamo Yethu would continue.
He, too, would support Ms De Lille at court.
Priya Reddy, the City’s communications director, insisted that all City programmes and services would continue as normal.
“The administration of the City of Cape Town is secure and we remain committed to the work we do to deliver services across the city and to engage with our communities,” she said.
“City staff, from so many directorates in the City, as well as political structures, have really worked non-stop to help the people affected by the unprecedented Imizamo Yethu fire – some at great personal sacrifice in solidarity with the affected residents.”
She said that process had focused on the establishment of the temporary relocation areas with full services to allow temporary relocation of those affected by the fires.
“The first part of the fire-affected area, Madiba Square, has already been improved and electrified.
“We remain absolutely committed to improving the safety and quality of life of these residents in the shortest timeframes possible.
“We urge all community members to support our efforts and to do what is in the best interests of the fire-affected residents and
the community as a whole, so that the process can continue and be completed in as
short a timeframe as possible.”