Imizamo Yethu residents have given the City of Cape Town their blessing to go ahead with a R17 million roads upgrade programme, which will either temporarily relocate residents living on the roads earmarked for the upgrade or see their houses modified.
The last road upgrade in IY was more than 20 years ago, and in that time many structures and shacks have either encroached on the roads or have been built on the pavements.
Following a public participation process earlier this year, the majority of IY residents in- dicated that they were in favour of the roads project and agreed to take the necessary steps to make the project possible.
The City is planning to repair and rebuild streets, install storm- water infrastructure and some traffic calming measures. Fourteen streets have provisionally been included in the programme.
The streets earmarked are: Legend, A Boesak, A Fransch, A Mlangeni, Bambata, C Hani, Hintsa, M Goniwe, M Kotane, M Mabinda, N Aggett, S Biko, Molefe and J Naidoo.
The City will resurface the streets and provide kerbs and pavements with the hope of improving both safety and aesthetics while clearing the way for emergency vehicles, (“Road upgrade for IY,” Sentinel Friday October 9, 2015).
Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport, said construction will commence once residents who are currently residing in the affected roads have been relocated.
“Officials from Transport Cape Town (TCT) are working closely with the Department of Human Settlements and community leaders to relocate those affected. At this stage the City, in collaboration with local community leaders, is trying to identify a suitable location for those residents who will have to vacate the structures that fall within the road reserve,” he said.
Mzi Nkayi, one of the community leaders working on the project, said temporary sites for the relocation is yet to be confirmed.
He said 25 houses had to be moved in order to start the project and the steering committee and community leaders have requested the City not to move those residents outside the borders of Hout Bay.
The steering committee has suggested two possible sites – the area opposite the Main Road clinic where the notorious “White House” once stood and the area opposite the Wynberg taxi rank near the graveyard in Hughenden – to the Department of Human Settlements.
“We are awaiting feedback from the Department of Human Settlements. There was supposed to be a site visit last week but it has been postponed and a date is yet to be set,” he said.
He said the community was excited for the project to start and can look forward to great improvements.
Demetri Qually, Good Hope Sub-council chairperson, said unfortunately, slow progress has been made with the project due to the lengthy public participation process.
“Earlier this year, each dwelling that has encroached on the sidewalk or street was approached and commitment was obtained to readjust the dwelling where possible or to move it where it’s not possible,” he said.
He confirmed that the Department of Human Settlements were currently sourcing possible relocation sites.
“It’s the unfortunate reality that illegal occupation of, and building on municipal land, sometimes creates more problems than it solves. “Nonetheless the City and community leadership are actively seeking constructive solutions to the challenges facing the project,” he said.
He added that the project also included planned upgrades to the street lighting and water supply networks in IY.
Mr Herron said the City was looking forward to start the projects but as with all other City-related projects across the city, the cooperation of all of those involved and affected will determine the progress and success.