Push for new mosque

Some board members of New Horizon Islamic Society are, from left, vice chairperson Mogammed Igsaan Andrews; Ighaan Geyser; assistant treasurer Achmat Emandien; treasurer Saadick Abbass; and Mogammed Haashim Jacobs.

The New Horizon Islamic Society (NHIS) says it is difficult to practice Islam and acts of charity which is required from a Muslim during Ramadaan, without a mosque.

Ramadaan is the ninth month in the Islamic calender, during which strict fasting is observed from dawn to sunset.

The society had submitted an offer to purchase a City of Cape Town property along Roadrunner and Woodswallow roads two years ago but did not get any feedback.

They have been left wondering if the sale has been placed on hold.

However, Stuart Diamond, Mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, said council has approved, in-principle, the disposal of the property marked Erf 5450 and it would be put out to tender “for community and/or social care purposes within the new financial year.”

NHIS secretary Shahied Tofie said they had submitted the proposal to buy the land after they received their NPO number because they have been serving the community from their homes.

Services such as madrassa classes had to be split in to two time slots to accommodate the large number of students.

The two closest mosques to New Horizon are in neighbouring Pelican Park and Eagle Park.

However, many residents are not able to travel so far and it is especially difficult for senior citizens to attend morning and evening prayers during Ramadaan, said Mr Tofie.

Other charity services such as the handing out of food parcels must be done from their small homes.

The New Horizons section of Pelican Park includes Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses which are subsidised homes for beneficiaries earning less than R3 500 a month.

There are also GAP houses sold for R290 000 to households with a minimum income of R7 800 a month and market value housing situated On the Vlei, where houses were sold for R465 000 to families with a minimum earning of R15 000 a month.

NHIS treasurer Saadick Abbas said the Muslim community had grown since the first lot of residents moved in to the area in 2013 and there was a need for a mosque. “The Pelican Park Owners’ Association (PPOA) did a survey and found out that the (number of) Muslims has increased in New Horizon.”

John Bailey, chairperson of PPOA, said a 2015/2016 survey showed that 46%

of the 3 200 families in the area were Muslim.

“The numbers may have fluctuated by increasing or decreasing but, yes that is what we came up with,” said Mr Bailey who supports the NHIS in their quest for a mosque.

“There were two properties earmarked for religious facilities, outlined on the map in the original plan, and we welcome the City to engage with us about it.”

He said it is a challenge for religious groups to practice their faith and it would be a better if there was a mosque or a community hall to operate from.

NHIS member Shafieka Kaja said the society wants to plan for the future.

“We want to form an Islamic women’s group to empower the women. We can only do that if we have a mosque.”

She said some of the other Muslim organisations had been donating food parcels to the community for Iftaar (breaking of fast in Ramadaan), but they needed space to store the goods.

Ms Kaja said the NHIS focused on the elderly and children, especially orphans.

The NHIS members said they always sought help from other organisations as they would like to feed the families in New Horizon and are asking for any donations such as soup and food parcels.

For more information WhatsApp Ms Kaja on 082 833 6143.