Kalbaskraal residents protest after protective fence pulled down

Residents blockade the road with burning tyres.

Residents in Kalbaskraal informal settlement in Lotus River blocked Lake Road and Third Avenue with corrugated iron and burning tyres in a protest on Thursday May 3.

This was after Law Enforcement officers tore down a fence that residents had built to protect themselves and especially their children.

Community spokesperson Mieta Benjamin said the community had combined resources and decided to build a fence in front of the informal settlement last month as there have been a couple of incidents where children have been knocked down by cars and a two residents were shot.

She said residents had asked the City of Cape Town and ward councillor to put up a fence.

“Nothing was done about our request so we decided to erect a fence ourselves.

“Then they came and tore down our fence and treated us with disrespect. We protested because we have had enough. Nothing is being done for the people of Kalbaskraal.

“We ask for houses, nothing gets done, there were talks of reblocking and nothing was done, we asked for a fence and didn’t get it. We are angry because we feel we are forgotten because we have been at this informal settlement for decades,” said Ms Benjamin.

Yolande Phillips, who has been living at Kalbaskraal for six years, said many of the informal settlement’s residents have been living there for over 20 years but have yet to be shortlisted for housing opportunities by the City of Cape Town.

“We are not violent people and we have been very patient with the City but nothing is being done for us. We need service delivery. We need houses but in the meantime while waiting for houses we are asking for protection. We feel like we don’t exist because nothing is done for us,” said Ms Phillips.

Ward councillor Patricia van der Ross visited the area on Thursday and promised that fencing would be put up.

“The application for fencing was started three years ago before I became councillor. I have followed up about it and the department of informal settlements have done measurements to erect the fencing,” said Ms Van der Ross.

“To address housing concerns residents were able to sign forms to sign up for service plots and residents who were not yet on the City’s housing database were able to do so.

“I will personally submit their forms and if we find a service plot these residents will be considered for this type of housing,” said Ms Van der Ross.

“In the interim, palisade fencing will be erected to keep residents and children safe.”