Peoples Post Woodstock-Maitland 24 April 2012

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Peoples Post Woodstock-Maitland 24 April 2012

Transcript of Peoples Post Woodstock-Maitland 24 April 2012

  • E-mail: post@peoplespost.co.za Tuesday 24 April 2012 Tel: 021 713 9440 Fax: 021 713 9481

    WOODSTOCK/MAITLAND

    Tel l ing it as it is

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    Shop 15, St Peters Square,

    Main Road, Observatory

    TAURIQ HASSEN

    THE transfer of a problematicpiece of land in Woodstock iscurrently being discussed be-tween the Provincial Depart-ment forHumanSettlementsandthe City of Cape Town.

    An informal settlement locatedon the erf in Pine Road has raisedthe ire of the surrounding commu-nity, with drug dealing and dump-ing heading a list of concerns.

    The settlement was establishedin 1992 and six years later receivedbasic services such as running wa-ter and ablution facilities.

    According to the Subsector 2 Fo-rum, the site remains a drug deal-ing hotspot and acts as a havenfor outside criminals plying theirtrade within the community. It iseasy to escape, using a train run-ning close by the settlement.

    Bruce Oom, the spokesperson forthe provincial minister of humansettlement, Bonginkosi Madikizela,confirmed that the land transfer re-quest has been made to the State At-torney, which is expected to becleared within two months.

    Once the City has ownership ofthe land, they will be able to developit accordingly, which may involvethe relocation of the people livingon the property,

    When Peoples Post visited thesite last week, an attempt was madeto speak to some of the informaldwellers. A hostile reception greet-ed the reporter and seemingly agi-tated residents asked him to leave.

    Ward councillor Brett Herronconfirms that complaints had beenreceived regarding the activities atthe settlement from a commerciallandowner. He says complaintsabout the settlement as a crimehotspot have already been investi-gated, but due to a lack of evidence,

    police could not prove that thesecrimes arebeing committed. I real-ise that the settlement is not a suita-ble nor desirable way to house fami-lies and that it is a cause for concernfor many of the residents in the ar-ea, says Herron.

    A resident nearby, who spoke toPeoples Post on condition of ano-nymity, explained that problems atthe settlement were endless .

    From drunken fights to drug deal-ing in the open, the residents be-lieve the settlement has become ahaven for crime and grime, creat-ing a lot of frustration. This prob-lem has been around for years andwhen this settlement initially start-ed, people around here could see

    these problems on the horizon. Wetried to warn those in charge at thetime, but now the problem is like athorn in our sides and the peoplewho were in charge are living a re-tired luxury life somewhere else,says the resident.

    Oom also confirmed that no ex-tensions to the existing structureson the site were made in recentmonths, but stated that the depart-ment had received a request fromthe Citys Anti Land Invasion Unitto rebuild a structure ahead of win-ter, due to leakages. Occupants ofthe structure will also receive pel-lets, which could be used for firewood, as they do not have electrici-ty. With regard to the general state

    of the area, Oom added that the areais monitored twice a day and house-hold waste is removed twice a weekby the City. This site has beencleaned regularly, although it is un-fortunately used as a dumping siteby residents in the area. The depart-ment has regularly removed rub-bish off the site if the need arisesand will continue to do so as longas it owns the land, says Oom.

    Ernest Sonnenberg, MayoralCommittee member for Human Set-tlements at the City of Cape Town,explained that the City had not re-ceived any evidence that the settle-ment is a source of criminal activityand encouraged residents to passany tip-offs to the police. The set-

    tlement was established by the Pro-vincial Government about a decadeago and is a lawful settlement. Con-cerns with regard to day-to-daymanagement of the settlementshould be addressed by the Provin-cialMinistry ofHumanSettlementsas the settlement is currently theirresponsibility, says Sonnenberg.

    However, once the land is trans-ferred to the City, Sonnenberg indi-cated that the Citys Informal Set-tlement Unit will manage theshackland.

    Pine Road unsettled

    TENSE: Residents are concerned about the informal settlement in Pine Road, Woodstock,but the province and City says the settlementis lawful. Photo: Tauriq Hassen

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  • Page 2 Peoples Post WoodstockMaitland GENERAL Tuesday 24 April 2012

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    Dear reader,

    Ive received interesting, challenging andvaried responses to my last column, withmany applauding my running and a fewquestioning whether I was seriously doingthis.

    Those who know me well enough, willknow that I dont commit lightly, neither doI conjure up stories. In fact, Im known forbeing often to my detriment too honest.

    To those of little faith: I know Ive masteredthe art of looking chilled, but I have witness-es who can back me, in the form of my run-ning mates. They see me puffing and pantingalongside them every Tuesday and Thurs-day, occasionally yielding for a few brief sec-onds to removemyorthotics, tiemy laces andpity myself for having painful ankles. Ivelived with this pain and many others allmy life and it hasnt stopped me from takingpart in any sport or activity.

    All the more reason I feel a great sense ofachievement on finishing my run, with mysights firmly set on running 10km in aboutfive weeks time, God willing.

    Onamoreambitious level, Iveheard