Cape Town’s premier, Helen Zille, has been handed an ultimatum by leaders of Cape Town Informal Settlements threatening to stage a “radical march” next year should their demands not be met.
On Monday, in a press conference held in Khayelitsha, leaders of informal settlement areas reported that they were offering Zille until the end of January to draw up solutions addressing issues of housing and poor service delivery, also stating that her failure to do so would result in a mass protest in February.
Failure by organisers to obtain permission from the City of Cape town has resulted in the cancellation of two planned marches so far. Leaders, Andile Lili and associates, met will several religious leaders including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu whom had agreed to organise discussions between the informal settlement leaders and the Western Cape government.
Zille, according to suspended city councillor Loyiso Nkohla, has been unsuccessful in responding with “a tangible plan and solutions to answer in the constructive engagement process that we have opted to pursue, on the advice of our religious leaders, we will certainly embark in a robust and radical programme that will make the Western Cape government listen to its own people.”
The cancellations are proof that they are law-abiding citizens, stated Lili, who however went on to say that should their demands not be adhered to this time around, they would not bother to apply for another marching permit.
“We will make sure that there is a stay away,” reported Lili, “No one must go to work while others are suffering”.
“We will build shacks on the N2,” threatened another leader present at the conference, “and in every open space in the township.”
But mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the shacks would be demolished as this would be against the law.
“These people are compelling government to take forceful actions on individuals so that they can get media images before the elections,” said Smith.
The premier’s office reported that a two-hour meeting with the informal settlement leaders was held last week by the MEC of Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela who addressed all issues raised by the present group.
Spokesman Zak Mbele, according to the Cape Argus, commented on the situation, stating: “It is highly disingenuous of them to claim that no one has got back to them… If that’s not engagement, what is it?”
has been handed an ultimatum by leaders of Cape Town Informal Settlements