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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S ACTING EXECUTIVE MAYOR, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON

This morning, 16 March 2017, there have been attempts by some of the Imizamo Yethu residents to rebuild their structures on the land affected by the recent fire. These structures are being built with damaged materials and pose a great risk to the rebuilding solution which has been agreed upon by all three spheres of government as well as the majority of the Imizamo Yethu residents.

The City of Cape Town remains committed to protecting the interests of those who have been affected. Yesterday, all three spheres of government met the community leadership and community organisations to propose the rebuilding process. This proposal was discussed by the community last night and the majority of the affected residents are in agreement. The success of this plan hinges on the site being thoroughly cleared, with standard plots demarcated so that emergency kits can be disbursed on Monday when rebuilding commences.

Any building that takes place before the plots are marked out will jeopardise the interests of the affected residents who are conforming with the agreed process, as individuals could take up much larger space than is fair and new residents from outside the settlement could take up space meant for others.

It is thus in the interest of protecting the affected residents and ensuring fairness that City Law Enforcement will be dismantling all structures before Monday. There are currently four community facilities and two tents available for shelter, which are not yet fully occupied. All residents who need temporary shelter will be encouraged to make use of these facilities until Monday.

We thank the majority of the residents who are working together with government so that we can prevent further tragedy from taking place.

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