I am disgusted, deeply concerned and in fact, angry in the actions of a small group of people who have committed horrendous crimes, allegedly all in the name of seeking a housing or job opportunity.
A week ago, one of the Community Liaison Officers at the Boys Town construction site in Nyanga, was shot and killed, while on her way to work. Our deepest condolences go to her family, friends and the company she was contracted to. At this stage it is still unclear what the motive of the killing was.
Prior to this incident, the Ward Councillor and her son were also shot, which led to their hospitalisation. I wish them both a speedy recovery.
This, along with further threats of violence and intimidation has led to the temporary closure of the Boys Town site, particularly since this project has a volatile and violent history. I have also requested a full report from my Department, so that we can get to the bottom of what is transpiring at this site.
Last week at Forest Village in Eersteriver a group of residents also assaulted a contractor and intimidated staff at the construction site. Tomorrow, we’re filing papers in the Western Cape High Court against a group and various individuals for them to urgently be interdicted and refrained from intimidating, threatening, assaulting, harassing or interfering with the construction that is currently underway.
I also condemn all these actions in the strongest possible terms. Criminality does not have any place on any of our sites nor in society as a whole. This is nothing but pure thuggery and these thugs are denying many vulnerable people who’s been on the housing waiting list for many an opportunity to move into their homes. Large numbers of units at both sites are very close to completion for the most deserving beneficiaries to take occupancy. These types of unacceptable events now delay handovers even further.
I call on the South African Police Services (SAPS) and all other law enforcement agencies to seek out and arrest these perpetrators, so that they can face they full might of the law. I urge law abiding community members to share any information they might have with the law enforcement agencies, so that these thugs can be brought to book. The judiciary should not be lenient on these transgressors and should instead make an example that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated or condoned.
Those with genuine concerns and grievances should engage the Ward Councillors and Project Steering Committees (PSC’s), so that it can be addressed.
As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.