Joe Slovo residents lament condition of City of Cape Town’s temporary housing

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Victims of a fire who were moved from Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa in Cape Town to temporary relocation sites in Delft in 2018 have appealed to be relocated to adequate accommodation.

Residents say they feel abandoned after they were sent to the temporary relocation area (TRA) and have joined a list of other residents moved to TRA’s, such as Blikkiesdorp, more than ten years ago.

Former Joe Slovo residents say the fire that gutted their houses in 2018 changed their lives for the worse. They say they were moved to these TRAs as a temporary measure but to date, they are still stuck here.

One of them Siphokazi Rgenqwa says, “We were told they will not build on the land we stayed in. They said they will level the ground. They asked us to move to Delft and that they will return to fetch us. We asked if we moved who they were going to build for on that land. They said they will build for us. We decided to move because we did not have anywhere to stay and we were begging people for food.”

The residents say it’s becoming unbearable to live in the temporary housing facilities as their families are growing and the houses that were meant for temporary living are starting to show defects. They say they have been sent from pillar to post.

Illegal electricity connections destroy shacks in Joe Slovo Informal Settlement:

Resident, Thembile Nikiwe says, “We have been to the offices and they said they don’t know how we got here. They said we are responsible for by the City of Cape Town. We tried getting in contact with the City of Cape Town and they said they only gave us a place for one day to go back. The conditions we live in are not good. We live with about ten people in a temporary house. We share a single toilet as ten households. The standard of living here is very bad.”

The City of Cape Town says it is faced with a housing crisis with more than 350 000 people on the waiting list. It says it will prioritise those who are high on the list.

Mayco Member for Human Settlements, Malusi Booi says, “There are people who have been on our waiting list for more than 10 years. So every year we get people who are fire victims and those who are coming from other provinces. But we have to address the backlog and those people that have been long on our waiting list.

The City of Cape Town says any eligible citizen is welcome to visit their offices to apply for housing.

Joe Slovo residents raise health concerns over blocked drains and poor collection of waste: