IY to get a make-over

Mandela Square A1 and A2 after shacks were taken down this week.

On Human Rights Day, the City and Red Ants began pulling down shacks rebuilt in the wake of the Imizamo Yethu fire.

The move followed a fortnight of tense negotiations between the City, community leaders and political parties.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said there had been “tremendous” community co-operation with many of the shacks being dismantled by the community themselves.

Those residents who were unable to take down their shacks signed a document requesting assistance from the City, giving the City permission to dismantle the homes.

Dismantling had happened at Madiba Square A1 and A2, allowing the City to begin the new demarcation process, he said.

During a site visit by the Sentinel on Wednesday morning, March 22, most of the area had been cleared with only a few residents still taking down their shacks.

The Red Ants were expected to return later in the day to level the ground further.

There was a sombre mood as

residents stood by watching piles of sheet metal and wood being removed from the area.

Israel Mafuka, speaking on behalf of a group of six other residents, said the process was a “very bad idea”. “The people in the red overalls came here yesterday (Tuesday) and started breaking everything down, which was very disappointing,” he said.

“The problem is people have paid for building materials. Where are they going to put their stuff now? No one thought about
that.”

He said while people had been instructed to apply for accommodation in the marquee tents set up at the Hout Bay Sports Complex, officials clearly had not factored in the health considerations.

“You can’t have that, with people living on top of each other. They are going to get sick. That is why some people are even preferring to sleep on the street.”

One resident staying in the upper reaches of Dontse Yakhe, who had come down to watch the dismantling process on Mandela Square, was uncertain whether he would also be affected.

“I don’t know what is going on. No one is telling us anything.”

The redesign of Imizamo Yethu is expected to cost in the region of R100 million.

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