Tensions rise in Masi over use of sports field earmarked for temporary homes – CapeTalk

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There has been a stalemate in Masiphumelele, with some residents preventing the construction of the temporary units on the sports field in the area.

More than 400 structures have so far been built for Masi residents who were displaced by a devastating fire in December last year.

Meanwhile, hundreds of more temporary housing units are scheduled to be built on a nearby sports field.

However, the sports players and local clubs are objecting to the use of the site for more emergency structures.

Last week, local youth in the area staged a protest boycotting the use of the sports field.

Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers says local authorities have to ensure that construction of the other emergency units on the sports field can commence so that those who are still waiting to be assisted can also be afforded the opportunity to have their own roof over their heads.

“I am concerned that there are some individuals in the community that are preventing the construction of the temporary units on the sports field to commence. More so, as these residents are seeking to benefit even though they were not affected by this disaster”, Simmers said in a statement.

The MEC says housing officials will continue to engage with this protesting group so that the matter can speedily be resolved.

Approximately 1,100 informal homes were destroyed by the fire and only 402 temporary housing units have been built so far due to land constraints.

RELATED: ‘Vulnerable’ Masi residents become first to move into R32M temporary structures

Living Hope founder Pastor John Thomas says displaced residents who are still waiting for their structures to be completed are also disgruntled over the slow building process.

The Living Hope NGO has been providing supplies and food relief to residents in the community.

The young guys who play soccer on the sports field objected in the form a protest… The users of the sports fields say no way is this going to happen, hence the protests on Thursday.

Pastor John Thomas, Executive director – Living Hope

Over the weekend, the homeless people violently protested over the weekend. We had two different protests: One group is saying no way are you going to use the sports field and another group is saying we demand a place to live..

Pastor John Thomas, Executive director – Living Hope

Living Hope has been able to service those homes or give them mattresses, bedding, blankets, carpets, curtains food parcels, hygiene packs, and kitchen goods.

Pastor John Thomas, Executive director – Living Hope

These are meant to be emergency homes for three to six months while a more permanent alternative building technology house is built for them on what is known as Erf 5131.

Pastor John Thomas, Executive director – Living Hope

Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:

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