Minister Madikizela Commits to Work with Drakenstein Municipality towards Sustainable Housing Solutions
Bonginkosi Madikizela, Minister of Human Settlements for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, has committed to working with the Drakenstein municipality, under the leadership of Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer, and the communities of Mbekweni, including backyarders and informal resident dwellers, to solve the housing issue in the area. The issue has arisen due to conflicting claims for limited housing opportunities between the Mbekweni backyard dwellers and the informal settlement residents.
Minister Madikizela met with the community on Thursday, 22 September 2011, in response to land invasions that had been occurring. Minister Madikizela heard the concerns of the community and has committed to a follow-up meeting in two weeks with the relevant stakeholders and community groups.
All possible efforts will be made to accommodate the housing demands in a way that is fair and transparent. Due to the limited availability of resources and the large demand for housing, it is not possible to accommodate all those in need immediately; however, if anyone qualifies for a state housing subsidy then they will be accommodated in due course, as and when opportunities become available.
In response to claims in the media threatening violence if housing demands are not met, the department, under the leadership of the minister, does not take kindly to such rhetoric. The department is willing and committed to negotiate, yet can't negotiate effectively with threats of a loaded gun held to its head. This approach is not good faith, and it is only in the spirit of good faith that the Department, working with the Drakenstein municipality, can play an active and constructive role in finding a solution to this issue.