Imizamo Yethu community leader pleased with progress in talks with officials

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Monday met with residents who say that they're frustrated by the slow pace of rebuilding the area, following a deadly fire in March.

Law enforcement officials monitoring the situation ins Imizamo Yethu following protests by angry residents. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - An Imizamo Yethu community leader says he is satisfied with the progress made in discussions with the City of Cape Town.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille on Monday met with residents who say that they're frustrated by the slow pace of rebuilding the area, following a deadly fire in March.

The group is unhappy about still having to live at a temporary relocation area, and has accused the municipality of making empty promises.

Community leader Lungisa Bezile says: “I can say we’re happy for now, as something will be done as they’ll be fast tracking the process going forward.”

De Lille says that plans are in place to start moving some people back into Imizamo Yethu.

However, the mayor says that acts of criminality during the demonstrations have affected the development process.

WATCH: Protesting Imizamo Yethu residents clash with police

“The criminals of yesterday have destroyed the civil engineering company’s equipment and this will delay the project even further. If the violence continues, the city will have no option but to withdraw from there.”

A resident who has been living at the temporary relocation area says that the living conditions there are appalling.

Asanda Busakwe, aged 27, and her mother were displaced by the fire in March and now live in a tiny one-room metal shack.

“When it rains water comes into the house. We need to buy paraffin because there’s no electricity. We don’t always have money to buy paraffin. Sometimes I take a cold bath because here is no electricity.”

The mayor says the city remains committed to engaging with the Hout Bay community.

Mayoral spokesperson Zara Nicholson said: “we are going to accelerate the reblocking of the three areas and we will keep engaging on how the final process will unfold.”

Riot police and law enforcement officers were on scene on Monday, while stun grenades and rubber bullets were fired at demonstrators during a tense standoff with police.

At least four people have been arrested following the violent demonstrations.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)