City to fence Joe Slovo housing site

A housing development is planned for this field on Freedom Way and the site is to be fenced off to protect it from land invasion.

The City of Cape Town plans to build a fence around a field in Joe Slovo that it has earmarked for a housing development.

Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi says the fence will protect the Freedom Way site from land invasion.

“The fencing will probably be done before the end of March 2021,” he said.

Malusi Booi, mayoral committee member for human settlements, says it will cost about R500 000 to put up the fence.

“The land is being monitored. The City will act to prevent any attempts to invade the land. Residents are warned this land is not to be unlawfully occupied. Any such occupation would be unlawful and not acceptable,” he said.

A three-storey block, with businesses on the ground floor and 200 flats on the upper floors, is planned for the site but a development application still needs to submitted and a budget allocated, according to Mr Booi.

“This process can take many years in line with the subsidy processes and laws governing housing in South Africa. The City is looking at partnering with the private sector to co-fund, implement and manage the facilities in a mutually beneficial manner,” he said.

The community has complained for many years about a lack of housing in the area and there have been several land invasions on municipal land.

Last year, Joe Slovo and Phoenix residents said they were happy that plans for the development were moving forward.

Cindy Meke has lived in Joe Slovo for 10 years. “We have been crying out for housing here,” she said. “I used to live with my parents when we moved from Mfuleni to here. I moved out last year and built myself a shack in one of the informal settlements. It’s nothing much, but it’s a place of my own. But we struggle with electricity, running water, and there are sometimes fires. I really like this idea of the new development, and I want to thank the councillor for this.”

Mr Booi has urged the community to report, anonymously if necessary, any illegal activity on the site by calling 112 from a cellphone, 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 for other emergencies.