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De Lille and Hout Bay fire survivors head in different directions

15 August 2017 - 11:16 By Aron Hyman
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
Image: Gallo Images

While hundreds of angry Hout Bay residents marched on the offices of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday‚ she was in Hout Bay switching on lights.

De Lille switched on electricity in an area of Imizamo Yethu which has been in the dark since a fire swept through the township in March.

Nearly 15‚000 people were left homeless by the fire. The City of Cape Town has since tried to install basic services in a “superblocking” project but has come up against stiff resistance from community members who say they are being left out of the decision-making process.

“The City has spent R6.75-million on this phase of the electrification project in Madiba Square to electrify 181 dwellings‚ of which 14% are new connections and the remainder of the households are a reinstatement of connections for customers electrified before the fire‚” said De Lille’s spokesman‚ Zara Nicholson.

“Once the entire area has been electrified‚ the project will result in the electrification of more than 2 100 households‚ of which more than 80% will be new connections at a cost of R40-million.

“The city is currently carrying out a broad range of works in Imizamo Yethu as part of the super-blocking project to deliver services such as water‚ sanitation‚ electricity‚ wider pathways and roads in the fire-affected area.”

The mayor’s switch-throwing visit at 11am on Tuesday coincided with a march by residents most affected by the fire‚ who are disgruntled by how the city council has dealt with the resulting housing crisis.

They say this has resulted in an influx of people who hope to get their names on housing beneficiary lists. They marched to the Civic Centre to hand a memorandum to De Lille’s office.