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The City of Cape Town is stunned and saddened by the murder of two security guards working on-site at the Sweet Home Incremental Development Area (IDA) in Philippi which is currently under construction. The two guards were shot and killed on Sunday evening as they began their shift to protect the development from thieves and vandals who have been targeting the contractor’s equipment.

An IDA is a development where residents are given designated plots which are upgraded to formal houses over time.

These guards worked for the third consecutive security company hired to protect the site. Two previous security companies were unwilling to continue working in the area due to criminals violently targeting the development. The City has also attempted to employ people from the surrounding community. However, they also resigned due to fears for their safety.

Despite every effort being made to ensure that this development which will improve the lives of some of our poorest residents can continue, the City has now been forced to suspend construction as workers are too fearful to continue with the project.

‘It is unforgivable that a project that can do so much good in a community where it is so sorely needed is being targeted like this. The City and I extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of these men,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

‘City workers and contractors are targeted by criminals all over Cape Town, and this often gets in the way of effective service delivery. We are therefore again calling on anyone who might have information on who is behind these attacks to please report it to the South African Police Service so that those responsible can be put where they belong, in prison, and that construction and development in the area can resume. Too often these criminals escape the consequences of their actions,’ said Cllr Limberg.

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