City commits to Hangberg

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato met with the Hangberg community on Monday to discuss the final decisions taken by City officials which aims to pave the way forward for housing issues in the Hout Bay community. At a closed meeting between City officials and the Mediation and Peace Forum, Plato said that he was determined to have the issues brought forth by the community settled.

“…Both sides – the City and the community leadership – are really serious in addressing the Hangberg issues, straightening them out and getting to some conclusion and also to pave and carve the way out on how to approach and deal with issues in the future,” he said.

The beautiful view from the windows of these informal dwellings.

A commitment was brought forward to commence the transfer of 61 City-owned houses into the names of the current tenants. “All tenants will be given a formal ‘Letter of Commitment’ by the City of Cape Town by the end of April, indicating the processes to be followed and the anticipated timeframes for the transfer of the units,” said Johan Gerber from the City of Cape Town, who was heading the team dealing with service delivery in Hangberg. “Unfortunately the transfer is a long process,” he admitted.

Among the demands of the Hangberg community was the upgrading and maintenance of the Flats and Row Houses. The community would be able to provide input about what they would like done to the existing houses. “Subdivision Diagrams have to be work-shopped with tenants to reach an agreement on layouts,” said Gerber.

The development of the new Community Residential Units (CRUs) would commence by October this year, where the community would once again have a say about the designs of the structures. “After finalization of designs a building contractor will be appointed and the construction of the first units will begin as soon possible thereafter, possibly in October 2011,” said Gerber.

The informal settlement above the “sloot” on the Sentinel mountain would also be upgraded. Toilets and taps would also be installed for the informal dwellings in areas within Hangberg known as Dallas and Texas. 45 toilets were currently being procured.

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