by Safiyia Stanfley, MPL – DA Constituency Head for the Emthanjeni Local Municipality
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Date: 19 July 2018
On behalf of the people of Britstown, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will call on the Northern Cape Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements & Traditional Affairs to immediately recover the housing project in Britstown.
Phase 1 of the housing project has been completed, with the land transferred and sites earmarked. Phase 2, however, is yet to start. No information is being given on the reasons for the delay.
In April, the DA already requested the council to allow 200 beneficiaries who can build their own top structures to take ownership of the sites. This request has fallen on deaf ears.
The housing project will see the construction of 887 houses in the Proteaville area of Britstown. Its completion will be a much-needed step in the reduction of the housing backlog of the Emthanjeni Local Municipality, where the total housing backlog is estimated at 4 000.
Understandable frustrations with the delays resulted in violent community unrest in Britstown today. Approximately 200 protesters marched to the municipal buildings to hand over a memorandum to the mayor, Tshepo Sthonga.
Instead of providing leadership to the municipality at a time of service delivery failures, the mayor was in Douglas where a by-election is scheduled to be held soon. Although the Speaker, Monica Kewido, availed herself to receive the memorandum, the protesters were unhappy. Clashes between protesters and the police resulted in shots being fired, councillors being locked in the municipal building for their own safety and shops being looted.
While the DA does not condone any form of violence or criminality, we share the frustrations of the residents who are being denied the basic dignity of a home and who are given silence when they seek answers.
We will continue to work to ensure that every person has a home.
Safiyia Stanfley, MPL
DA Constituency Head for the Emthanjeni Local Municipality
084 919 4157
071 251 5558