I have just returned from inspecting the rebuilding process and engaging with community members in Imizamo Yethu. It is the first time in history that the City of Cape Town and the affected community have worked together on such a large scale.
We obtained an interdict on Sunday to prevent resettlement on the burnt land. We have not had to use it. We are truly partners in this rebuilding process and we are very grateful for their cooperation.
On Monday evening, the City hosted a community meeting with the residents of Madiba Square from Imizamo Yethu. The City was ready to begin the process of super-blocking and issuing the emergency housing kits on Monday morning, but due to the high number of structures already erected on the land, we were prevented from doing so.
During the community meeting on Monday night, the residents of Madiba Square who had already erected structures agreed to remove them so that we could commence with the super-blocking project today. A total of 15 families requested the City’s assistance to dismantle their structures so that they can receive emergency housing kits. These families signed a request in that regard which we have for our records.The Red Ants were contracted to assist the community with the dismantling. It was a public holiday and they were only on site for three hours to assist those who had asked for help. From today onwards, Expanded Public Works Programme workers from Imizamo Yethu will be appointed to help their fellow residents who request assistance with dismantling.
Today we will start the super-blocking process in Madiba Square. We have divided the area into four blocks as follows:
Block A1 and A2 will be done simultaneously. The figure above shows a grid providing approximately 36 m² per structure. Once the roads and walkways are marked, the plots will be demarcated. As soon as this is done, fire kits can be delivered to the site. If all goes according to plan, A1 and A2 can be completed in a single day, and tomorrow B1 and B2 will be completed.
Super-blocking is a new initiative in the City to provide better services in areas where density or other restrictive conditions do not allow for providing individual serviced sites. It provides for blocks separated by roads and pedestrian/service corridors, with electrification and communal taps and toilets provided per block. Road access, electrification, fire-breaks, and fire hydrants are anticipated to significantly reduce fire risk in an area such as Imizamo Yethu. Super-blocks can be further developed to eventually provide tenure if conditions allow.
Water points have already been restored. Water, sanitation and electricity will be enhanced or provided based on super-blocking, but interim measures will be in place.
We are using all resources possible to make sure that the people of Imizamo Yethu can start rebuilding their lives.