Nomzamo Inquiry: City accused of negligence

Human Settlements accused CT authorities of abandoning people in the middle of a crisis.

Human Settlements accused CT authorities of abandoning people in the middle of a crisis. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Human Settlements Department has accused Cape Town authorities of being the only ones to abandon desperate community members in the middle of a crisis.

The department has been at odds with Mayor Patricia de Lille over the controversial eviction of the Nomzamo community earlier this year.

It has set up the Lwandle Inquiry to investigate events leading up to the removal of the community.

But De Lille has questioned why the department is not probing evictions elsewhere in the country.

Human Settlements spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya explains why the department will not be investigating other evictions in the country.

"When a mayor and a premier, on a cold winter day, abandon its citizens, the national department must intervene. In other provinces the mayors and premiers never abandon their people."

Mabaya says the department is fully supporting the Lwandle Inquiry which is investigating circumstances leading up the eviction of hundreds of people in Cape Town in early June.

De Lille has called the commission a political hit squad.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town on Monday said the department is withholding a R50 million housing grant.

The department says the money is being temporarily withheld from all metropolitan municipalities.

De Lille accused Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu of placing stumbling blocks in the city's efforts to address housing needs.

The department has denied Sisulu has an agenda against the city.