PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Tempers are becoming frayed over housing delivery issues in New Horizons in Plettenberg Bay.
Residents in the area on the outskirts of the town say they are fed up with constant delays in the housing delivery process, following the acquisition of a portion of land in Ebenezer in October last year. The land has been earmarked for about 1 500 sites available for the construction of housing and infrastructure development.
"We are just constantly being told there is a delay with this and then there is a delay with that. You cannot blame residents for becoming impatient," said the spokesman for the Concerned Citizens of New Horizons Forum, Claude Terblanche, this week.
Over and above delays in getting the process started over the past three months, residents say they have been lobbying for housing in New Horizons for more than two decades, but to no avail.
This ultimately boiled over in protest action last year. Along with other communities in Plettenberg Bay, locals participated in violent protests in June and July last year, which brought the town to a near standstill.
Demands to meet with mayor
Terblanche has since written a letter to Bitou Municipality demanding action, he said, adding that the community insists on an emergency meeting with mayor Peter Lobese and other high-ranking municipal officials. He said residents also want a draft plan for temporary or emergency housing – including access to water and electricity – for at least 250 residents who are currently living in others' backyards.
"The current ruling party, a coalition government, has forsaken the community of New Horizons… New Horizons received a shameful 64 units over the past 23 years. Kwanokhutula alone has received about 1 500. One wonders what the reasons could be that the municipality has not seen fit to at least put a short-term housing plan in action for our community. New Horizons has a backlog of 950 backyard dwellers and no informal settlement or squatter camp."
Terblanche added that despite this, New Horizons ranks second best in terms of paying rates.
The municipality confirmed that it would provide feedback to residents this week.
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