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Note to editors: City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, today inspected a Mayoral redress project in Phola Park where a degraded and polluted open stormwater channel was covered and transformed into a walkway for the community.

The City of Cape Town is committed to redressing injustices of the past and building an inclusive metro.

In addition to delivering housing opportunities, creating the conditions to enable economic growth, and connecting more residents to opportunities by rolling out a quality transport service with MyCiTi, we have numerous projects rolling out on an ongoing basis to improve people’s living conditions while they wait for formal housing opportunities.Council made an allocation of R20 million available for the Mayoral Redress Programme following a study to identify areas of poverty which required special intervention to address infrastructure backlogs over and above those targeted through ward allocation funding.

The Mayoral Redress Programme was conceived to make a visible difference in the lives of these communities.

The Phola Park redress project in Philippi is one of the most significant ones we have undertaken, where R6,6 million was allocated to cover a badly degraded open stormwater channel, pave footways, and plant trees to enhance the public space.

The City has responded to the cries of the community who faced ongoing health problems as a result of the bad pollution of the channel.

Despite ongoing maintenance and cleaning by the City, the open channel continued to be used as a dumping ground, resulting in high levels of bacteria, and was attracting mosquitos, posing a serious health risk to the community.

This project aimed to upgrade the stormwater channel to improve the inland water quality and the health and safety of the community.

Work started in August 2015 and is now in the final stages of completion.

Today I visited Phola Park and I am pleased with the improvement the project has brought to the lives of residents in this community.

What was once a badly polluted channel is now utilised by residents as a walkway where children can play safely and parents no longer have to worry about the health risks.

While significantly improving the community’s living conditions, this project also provided work opportunities to 20 residents who were selected from the subcouncil’s jobseeker database.

In addition to the investment from the Mayoral Redress Programme, the City’s Utility Services Directorate also provided residents with new bins, while an additional R1,3 million was allocated to provide 163 toilets.

Mayoral Redress projects have also been rolled out in Macassar, Bellville South, Phola Park, Scottsdene, Wallacedene, Elsies River, Belhar, Delft and Valhalla Park.

The budget of R20 million was allocated to various road and pathway upgrades as special redress projects which I initiated in some of the poorest wards in the city.

In Macassar for example, R8 million was allocated for the construction of proper walkways, much-needed road upgrades around the area, and cycle lanes.

I would like to thank the community of Phola Park and especially the street committee for their support of this project and for working hard with the City to ensure that we improve our communities in any way we can.

We will continue to invest in our previously marginalised communities in order to reverse the wrongs of the past and ensure that these communities receive the proper supporting infrastructure.

We will continue working with residents to ensure that we make progress possible, together.

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