Two open days to provide feedback on the superblocking programme in Imizamo Yethu were held in Hout Bay last week.
The City of Cape Town-driven initiative, held at the Iziko Lobomi community centre and Hout Bay library on Friday October 20 and Saturday October 21, intended to remove ongoing doubts about the project, which seeks to temporary relocate residents as electrification, water and sanitation are established in sections of the settlement razed by fire in March.
At both venues, residents had the chance to view an audio-visual presentation detailing the latest developments. The project is expected to take 24 months.
The development scheme has been broken into stages of three months each. The focus initially is placed on the Petersen and Shooting Range areas, where electrification and basic services will be installed.
In months three to six, electrical work will continue in Petersen, while walkways will also be introduced. Between months six and 15, work will begin on numerous new access roads in various parts of Imizamo Yethu.
In month 13, construction and service implementation moves to the eBhayi area. Ebhayi is expected to be completed by month 21.
“Residents will be resettled on their properties in phases. Once one section is completed, residents will be able to move back.”
In total, 648 homes will have to be moved permanently as a result of superblocking.
There has been speculation over the fate of people living in the Road 1 area of Dontse Yakhe. This matter is being heard in the High Court, but according to the presentation, if an eviction order is made, these residents will receive notices that they will have two weeks to vacate their properties.
Interested residents were also informed that on September 6, a call was made for nominations for community liaison officers (CLOs). The building contractor has been interviewing candidates, and successful candidates will be notified by December.
Once appointed, the CLOs will be given names of participants from the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) who will work on the project. A steady stream of residents viewed the presentation at both venues.
Imizamo Yethu resident Star Nsingo was pleased the City had staged the open days. “People have been thinking that superblocking will cause all the people to be moved out of IY, but now I know this isn’t what will happen,” she said.
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said the purpose of the open days was to “dispel rumour” and provide detailed, vital information which the community required. “It was clear during these days that many community members were uninformed or had been informed differently by some of the structures which feedback to them,” he said.
“The City of Cape Town is committed to the improvement of the lives of the people of IY and DY in terms of safety, dignity and access to services. The superblocking programme, running in conjunction with the formal housing project will deliver on this commitment.”