Backyarders want City to stop ‘neglect’

Cafda residents are growing impatient with the City of Cape Town because of a delay in the implementation of basic services for backyarders.

Talks of the services being rolled out started in 2015.

Money was allocated to start the project but it could not be implemented due to gang violence in the area. The money was then diverted to another project.

Eddie Andrews, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for area south, said Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers were ready to do the survey to find out how many people need the services but work was stopped because of the gang violence.

Backyarders, with the support of Cafda NPO, Community Cry for Peace (CCFP), have now started a backyarder programme to highlight their plight.

Shiela Jacobs, chairperson of CCFP, said Cafda residents feel like they have been forgotten. “Services are being rolled out in Parkwood and other areas and none have been rolled out here in Cafda. We feel like we are not on the City of Cape Town’s map because we feel neglected,” said Ms Jacobs.

The community have had several meetings, telling harrowing stories of the high rental, water and electricity fees demanded by their landlords.

“Our people are suffering. They are locked out of toilets, can’t access water sometimes and have to pay high rent. We need the City to step in and help the backyarders and people that rent from landlords,” she said.

A backyarder who wanted to stay anonymous as she feared being victimised by her landlord, said her home is not a stable environment for her children.

“The landlords lock their doors so we can’t have access to the toilet and have to use a bucket.

“We have to fetch water from a friend of mine because the landlord locks the doors so we can’t access water and the electricity runs out even though we pay,” said the mother of three.

CCPF is also advocating for Cafda backyarders to be first in line as beneficiaries of land in Peter Charles that might be rezoned for hous-
ing.

Lee-Ann and Kenneth Andrews, both epilepsy sufferers, have been moving from backyard to backyard with their eight-year-old autistic son, Callib.

“Things are difficult and we can’t find a stable home and there’s always trouble because Callib is hyperactive. All we want is
a home to call our own to raise our child,” said Ms Andrews.

Ms Jacobs said the CCFP is advocating for the Andrews family to be considered first for a house in Peter Charles Street.

The housing in Cafda has, however, not been confirmed because pre-feasibility studies have been done on the site and the suitability for housing must still be determined.

Ward 110 councillor Shanen Rossouw said she understands
the needs of Cafda residents and that the verification process through the EPWP project has already started. “If all goes well
we should be starting with the roll-out of these services to non-sellable rental stock by August because we have now allocated money from the new ward allocations,” said Ms Ros-
souw.

Services for backyarders include a concrete toilet, taps, a wash basin, refuse removal and electricity meters.