To the public and all 80 first signatories of the Appeal “No more charity – but true sharing of land and housing!”

 

Dear Neighbours in the Far South Peninsula,

this time only good news:

 

At our 2nd meeting as Masiphumelele delegation (again even more unified as also elected representatives of the Masi Squatter Forum joined us and again with Mr Steve Perrett as expert and witness) with Premier Helen Zille, Mayor Patricia de Lille, Minister for Human Settlements Mr Bonginkosi  Madikizela,  Mayco Member for Human Settlements Ms Tandeka Gqada, Mr Mark Wiley (MP for our area), PR Councilor Mzuvukile Nikelo and several other senior officials we could reach agreements we were all waiting for a long time (please see for more details our briefing paper attached, also Mr Steve Perrett’s engineering report):

 

One – The second access road for Masiphumelele will be Abington Road:

Supported by MP Mr Mark Wiley it was agreed between the Premier and the Masi Delegation that the application to complete Abington Road (which runs from Kommetjie Road next to – but not through Fish Eagle Park – and which connects straight to TRA and Wetlands Informal Settlement) will be separated from the application for another future access via Houmoed Road in Noordhoek (which might last up to another 2-8 years)  and given high priority to be realized soonest (as only 470 m need to be constructed still, which is possible within the next few months). It is expected that also the businesses at Fish Eagle Park will agree most positively.

 

Two –  Compromise on Wetlands Informal Settlement on 4 drainage channels and basic services:

We agreed with the Premier and all present that a working compromise on re-blocking would be to make the existing (but dysfunctional) 4 drainage channels clean and functional again –  and to be upgraded also via a system of metal covers to allow access for emergency vehicles and installation of basic services for the estimated 12.500 residents (then divided into 5 sections, for more details see attached engineering report). The legal advisor of the Provincial government was tasked to give priority to work out the needed legal framework. The Masi delegation’s condition was supported that they and all residents are made part of the planning and all communication around needed works in the area. As elected chair of the delegation was confirmed Mr Bonga Mithi.

 

Three – Needed land to de-densify overpopulated areas and to create diverse low/middle income housing

As the City’s land 2013 audit has shown no immediate viable option of land to allow housing developments for diverse income groups  (low to middle class), also in order to de-densify and allow plans to move shacks from the Informal Settlement Wetlands and the partly still occupied construction area at School Site,  the Masi delegation presented another option of private land, in walking distance to the community and  of more than 5 ha which is at present on the market. Due to the confidential process of purchasing this land, more details are kept confidential at this stage.

 

We as Masi delegation will met again with the Political Steering Committee of the Western Cape, chaired by the Premier, in one month on Monday, 7 April 2014 at 7.15 hrs. – we trust that reliable time frames will be given to the above mentioned 3 points.

 

We thank the Premier for her serious commitment of solving basic problems of poverty alleviation in our area and all participants at this morning’s meeting for their positive cooperation.

 

The members of the Masi Delegation agreed to inform all affected residents within the next days to ensure that there is a good understanding of the progress achieved.

 

Kind regards

Steve Perrett, Dr Lutz van Dijk and Prof Andy Dawes

Neighbors in Clovelly

 

Amakhaya ngoku (“Homes now”) housing project in Masiphumelele

Amakhaya ngoku (“Homes now”) housing project in Masiphumelele

 

Briefing for Meeting on 10 March 2014 (7.15 hrs) with the Premier, the Mayor, our local Councilors, the Mayco Member and the MEC for Human Settlements prepared by the Masiphumelele Delegation “Overcoming poverty (the petition has been signed so far by 80 first signatories and by more than 650 further signatories online: www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/overcomingpoverty ):

Pastor Patrick Diba/Baptist Church, Mr Bheki Mvovo/Amakhaya ngoku housing Association, Mr Bonga Mithi /Informal Settlement and Backyarders Forum, Mr Tshepo Moletsane/Informal Settlement Forum, Ms Fundiswa Stofile, Mr Yokuqala Foreboy, Mr Themba Magani, Mr Zamile Thomas/Squatter Forum, Ms Nontembiso Madikane/women’s group Vuka Mama, Ms Pamela Makuphula /Progressive Women, Mr Sithembele Mtshamba/Land Task Team, Prof Andy Dawes & Dr Lutz van Dijk, authors of the appeal “Overcoming poverty”.  As witness: Mr Steve Perrett/Fish Hoek Rate Payer’s Association.

 

We look forward to receive reports from the senior officials regarding:

1)      2nd Access Road for Masi (Abington Road),

2)      Reblocking of Informal Settlement (near) Wetlands,

3)      More land to de-densify Masi (especially from IS Wetlands/ca. 140 shacks and the rest of IS School Site/ca. 180 shacks)

4)      About TRA removal by City official Mr Andile Booi.

 

We have prepared ourselves to offer research results on:

 

One – Engineering process to create access for emergency vehicles and to install basic services in the Informal Settlement (near) Wetlands

After consultation with representatives from the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) in Masi on 17/2 and 26/2 and further research by Steve Perrett with different departments we know that it is possible to create access for emergency vehicles and to install basic services with only about 140 shacks close to the 4 drainage channels to be moved (for more see summary on the back of this paper). We also suggest facilitation support by a representative of the ISN to ensure that the proper communication with all stakeholders and all affected residents will go smoothly.

 

Two – Our own land audit shows that private land is available

On the basis of the City’s land audit report (made kindly available by Mr Seth Maqetuka/ED: Human Settlements) and our own research with independent land surveyors and real estate agents we can present private land close to Masi which can be rezoned for residential development, is big enough (5,5 ha – all of present School Site is 1,3 ha!) and on sale for an already negotiated price below market value. We need to know from the government which budget can be made available for such a development. Lutz van Dijk can provide details about this land at any time.

 

Three – Abington Road as 2nd Access for Masi has received much support

We have consulted with several residents both inside and outside of Masiphumelele, including businesses at the Fish Eagle Industrial area, who are all in support of this southwestern connection via Kommetjie Road. Several suggested to prioritize the remaining 470 m road to be built now and find out why the present application has been not successful so far. Therefore we suggest to separate this section in a new application from the northeastern Houmoed Road (which does pass through the Noordhoek wetlands and affects many more immediate neighbors).

 

The engineering process for access roads and basic services for the Masiphumelele Informal Settlement (near) Wetlands must begin now!

 

By Steve Perrett (for more detailed information: nova@intekom.co.za )

 

Present situation at the Informal Settlement (near) Wetlands:

The extent of the site is 6.94 ha & the average shack size is +/- 25m2. Resulting in +/- 2775  total dwellings. If there are 4.5 people per dwelling then an estimate results in +/- 12500 residents. Roughly 5.6m2 per resident not allowing space for even enough paths to walk properly i.e. an extremely high density of people with very little protection from the dangerous fires and floods.

 

The area is roughly divided into five distinct sections separated by four 3m wide storm water drainage channels serving the rest of Masi. The sections being: ‘Zululand’ &/or A, B, C, D & E which are of dissimilar size. They are all very poorly serviced with roughly 2 water stand pipes & 12 toilets per section, resulting in long queues at peak hours for water etc. These services, along with solid waste collection, are all grouped at the beginning of the 4 drainage channels being closest to the formal housing area of Masi. Night soil & used water is disposed of into the nearest drainage channel.  Also from the Fire Services (and all other disaster and emergency) viewpoints all this is a nightmare.

 

We propose the following:

That the 4 drainage channels be implemented for emergency service access to these 5 sections. That the drainage channels be covered with an expanded metal grating capable of supporting a 20 tonne vehicle. This to be either top supported at ground level, or a channel base supported structure. In addition to this a clear area of at least 2m each side of the channels must be obtained by the removal of +/- 140 dwellings.

 

We further propose that:

Basic services be run through the resultant 2m channels i.e. water, sewerage & electricity with an option for a Telkom duct. That the following services & facilities be installed on this reticulation system:

Fire hydrants and blocks of flushing toilets & night soil receptacles.

Solar power supplemented shower blocks & laundry sinks along with laundry drying lines. Solid waste collection points.

High mast lighting & electrical reticulation points to allow the safe formal connection of metered power to the residences.

 

In conclusion we understand that this is quite a complex undertaking given the site constraints. However we would like you to be aware that a more detailed engineering study has been drawn up that breaks this project up into manageable phases which should start NOW. The cost of this project may well be amortised by the City within less than 10 years when offset against costs resulting from the present situation, including regular disaster management costs. But above all: The permanent (partly deadly)  health risks, especially to children.