Community protests in Kya Sands
"The Democratic Alliance," says DA Councillor in the City of Johannesburg Cllr Mendelsohn, "has represented the people of Kya Sands since March 2006. One of my first acts as a Councillor was to report the City of Johannesburg and the Gauteng Provincial Government to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for the failure to provide the residents with water, sanitation and any prospect of access to Housing in terms of the Constitutional Bill of Rights (see Daily Maverick report).
"This protest is political" says DA Shadow MMC: Housing Councillor Tsepo Mhlongo "provision of houses is not the competency of the ward Councillor but the Provincial Government responsibility. The official that addressed the community on this issue, misled the community in giving them wrong information ie building of houses in Kya Sands. All the toyi- toying and complaints has to be directed to the Provincial Government
"This was followed" says Cllr Mendelsohn" by a visit to Kya Sands by the former Mayor, Amos Masondo, who promised to fast-track access to housing. Moreover, and within a year after this event, water and sanitation were indeed, provided
"By September 2009, and with no progress made from Housing Department, the residents of Kya Sands took to the streets in protests." I called the public meeting and invited the Deputy Director: Housing, Paulos Ntsooa, to address the residents. He informed them that plans for the formalization of Kya Sands were well advanced and that of the installation of infrastructure will commence in June 2010.
These promises were not kept and in response to a series to written questions which were submitted to Council, I was informed that the funding was not available
A further set of questions concerning all the issues relating to Housing formalization of the settlement and provision of budget has already, some weeks ago been submitted to Council and will hopefully be responded to at the Council meeting of April 2012
The DA Councillors representing Kya Sands are proud of their dedication to that Community and have demonstrated that they will not hesitate to ask the correct questions
Any suggestion that the failure to address Kya Sands issues is because the people have been represented by DA Councillors is an incorrect assumption. If one goes to other informal settlements represented by ANC Councillors, one will see for oneself the exact same lack of progress
A short Scheduled and uncoordinated approach to planning access to Housing and provision of bulk infrastructure afflicts every single informal settlement in Johannesburg and irrespective of the political affiliation of the Councillor representing the Community
Statement issued by DA Councillors John Mendelsohn and Tsepo Mhlongo, March 27 2012
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