Tension after announcement on housing for Siqalo & Mitchells Plain residents

Councillor Elton Jansen says MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela's announcement that Siqalo residents and backyard dwellers in Mitchells Plain would get houses has created some tension.

FILE: Community leaders from Mitchells Plain, Siqalo and Rondevlei meet with local government following service delivery protests. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - There are no barricaded roads or burning tyres, but underlying tension still simmers between the communities in Siqalo and Mitchells Plain.

A community-led steering committee has been established comprising residents from Rondevlei and Highlands in Mitchells Plain, as well as the Siqalo Informal Settlement across Vanguard Drive.

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Officials from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Human Settlements Department met with community leaders over the weekend following last week's violent protests.

The intervention followed days of violent protests from Siqalo residents demanding better services from authorities.

The disruptive demonstrations were met with resistance from Mitchells Plain residents, severely affected by road closures, the torching of property and the stoning of vehicles.

The conflict led to a taxi driving into a crowd of people on Wednesday night resulting in the death of a 19-year-old man.

Siqalo Ward Councillor Elton Jansen says Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela's announcement that Siqalo residents and backyard dwellers in Mitchells Plain would get houses has created some tension.

“There’s some unhappiness from the greater Mitchells Plain [residents] who feels the settlement is not there long and now they are getting opportunities.”

Jansen believes there are racial divisions, but the Rondevlei Ward Councillor Joan Woodman says the focus should be on working together.

“For now we have come to an agreement that we will work together with a committee with either side. We will try to resolve the matter as well as we can.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)