Moves on Masakhane housing project

A housing meeting was held at the Hout Bay Sports Complex last weekend to discuss the way forward for housing beneficiaries
falling under the Masakhane Bantu People’s Housing Project.

Last week, the Sentinel reported that scores of Imizamo Yethu housing beneficiaries were upset that homes belonging to them were occupied by others and yet the City of Cape Town was still sending them the water bills – some for more than R50 000 (“Housing hopes dashed,” Sentinel, June 8).

They also accused Masakhane chair Lungisa Bezile of selling those homes to non-title deed holders- claims he strongly denied.

Mr Bezile said he had laid complaints of defamation against his accusers with Hout Bay police on Friday last week, although the Sentinel was unable to confirm that with the police at the time of going to print.

Mr Bezile said that on Saturday June 9 housing officials had attended the meeting at the sports fields during which he had been re-elected as chair of Masakhane along with a new executive committee.

He said 38 of the more than 70 affected housing beneficiaries had been at the meeting.

“We will now be making sure the 75 beneficiaries will be getting their houses, and are liaising with the municipal and provincial authorities. Fifty beneficiaries will be accommodated on the original housing site, but 25 will need to be accommodated within the new housing project (in Imizamo Yethu).

“This is because the slopes are too steep to build,” he said.

Construction of homes for the 50 beneficiaries needed to happen in the 2018/19 financial year, and contractors were expected to be on site in the first week of July.

Mr Bezile said that following the publication of last week’s Sentinel article, in which he was quoted, he had decided to lay complaints of defamation against his accusers.

“They must come up with evidence of what they are saying,” he said.

Lulama Bini, of the Imizamo Yethu Movement, which has taken up the cause of the beneficiaries, confirmed the events of Saturday’s meeting.

Mr Bini, who said Mr Bezile had made him aware that a defamation claim had been made against him, said, “Lungisa and I are still friends”.

“I explained to him that I am a community leader and these women (beneficiaries) had come to me (with their grievances).”

In respect of the 25 beneficiaries who would have to be housed in the new housing scheme, he said not everyone in the community knew about that yet and he would be explaining why it was not possible to build homes on the steep slope to others in the community.

The City officials at the meeting, he said, had also pledged to sort out the billing problem for those beneficiaries affected.

Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said he was pleased the City had been able to accommodate 25 of the awaiting recipients within the City’s new Imizamo Yethu housing project.