Proposals made to Hangberg residents group

Patricia de Lille.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille will personally oversee the transfer of SANParks land to the City for the purposes of development in Hangberg.

This was one of the guarantees given to a group of concerned Hangberg residents who met with the mayor at the civic centre on Thursday night, March 15.

Tensions have escalated in the past two months as residents feel they have been “fobbed off” by the City in respect of their grievances over the make-up of the Peace and Mediation Forum, the Hangberg Informal Development Area (HiDA) project, service delivery and housing.

In addition to her pledge to oversee the SANParks land transfer, which has been a thorn in the City’s side since 1998, Ms de Lille also told residents that two new sites for housing had been identified in Hangberg, namely Erf 2697 near Sentinel Primary and Erf 2885 at the Dallas temporary relocation area.

She said a steering committee would have to be established for these purposes, and implored the residents group to ensure that these two pieces of land were not invaded.

In addition, a process to verify the number of informal structures in Hangberg will get under way, and the City has recommended that representatives of the residents group as well as the PMF oversee this process to “ensure verification is 100% accurate”.

Turning to the HiDA project, the City has come up with a “Plan B” to negate issues surrounding the stalled transfer of land from SANParks. Access to the area would now be created through that section of land already belonging to the City, and consulting engineers will be on site next week.

Ms De Lille said City officials would also do a site inspection on Thursday March 22 to investigate the implementation of water, electricity, services and roads, and again she suggested that they be joined by representatives of both the residents group and PMF.

The residents group presented a document to the mayor, highlighting their concerns about the PMF, which suggested that all roleplayers – City, provincial government, SANParks, PMF and concerned residents – meet within 30 days to discuss a motion to amend that High Court order of 2011 which stipulates how Hangberg would be administered in the wake of the 2010 riots.

It was also suggested to place all civic organisations in Hangberg, including the PMF, under one umbrella body, provisionally known at the “Development Forum”.

Ms de Lille said she would like to revisit the court order and meet with the group again. She would also make all minutes available to the residents group over past discussions about the Hangberg Peace Accord.

Ms de Lille assured the group they were now recognised by the City, but requested they go back and elect their leaders and draw up a constitution so they could be registered on the City database.

She deemed the document presented by the group “a very constructive proposal”.

The residents group will now be presenting the mayor’s proposals to the Hangberg community on Tuesday March 20.