CT activists spurn shack eradication plan

Activists are demanding that residents in informal settlements be given proper housing and sanitation.

FILE: Protesters demonstrating in front of the Provincial Legislature in the Cape Town CBD on 30 October 2013. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Disgruntled informal settlement activists say a four-year-plan by the City of Cape Town to try and eradicate shacks is simply not good enough.

Activists are demanding formal housing and sanitation and have threatened to mobilise thousands of people from townships to protest on the steps of the provincial legislature.

The provincial government on Thursday met with religious leaders, who have stepped in as mediators in the stand-off, to come up with solutions.

Activist Siyabulela Mafu says people do not want to wait for too long.

"We all have been patient for more than 15 years, so a four-year plan is too long to wait for as people are suffering now."

Mafu says they will officially meet on Sunday with religious leaders to discuss Thursday's gathering with provincial government.

"We are going to meet with the religious leaders to give us the report of the meeting, but there is nothing new that we are expecting from it."

The office of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Thursday confirmed she will meet with Cape Town religious leaders to resolve the stand-off between government and informal settlement activists.

Previous demonstrations turned violent after protesters went on a rampage.

However, Mafu on Thursday said all measures will be taken to ensure the march is peaceful.