18 Apr 2011

IOL reporter in Hangberg

IOL reporter in Hangberg

With the up coming local elections, there is plenty of interest in Hangberg’s “plight”. Here are pictures by the IOL journalist @mtyala reporting on the area.

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02 Mar 2011

ANC wants to help Hangberg

ANC wants to help Hangberg
taken from eyewitnessnews.co.za/Malungelo Booi:

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape on Wednesday said that it will do whatever it takes to ensure that a solution is found for the people of Hangberg in Hout Bay.

Residents are at loggerheads with the City of Cape Town after failed attempts to evict them in September 2010.

Several people were injured when law-enforcement officers moved into the area, dismantling structures which had been erected beyond the fire break on the slopes of the Sentinel.

The ANC’s provincial leader, Marius Fransman, said they will fight for the rights of the community.

“After months nothing really has happened for the people of Hangberg. They’re still struggling to find a proper piece of land and we’re going to listen to what the community is saying so that we can very directly take it up with the City of Cape Town,” he said.

ANC members will meet with the Hangberg community.

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03 Feb 2011

Row flares up in Hangberg mediation

Row flares up in Hangberg mediation

Aziz Hartley/iol.co.za

A row has erupted between community groups in Hangberg in Hout Bay over a mediation process involving city consultant Brian Williams.

Last September there were violent clashes between law enforcement officials and Hangberg residents who resisted the demolition of shacks erected in a firebreak on the Sentinel.

Later, the Western Cape High Court ordered the parties to seek mediation.

Williams, a consultant who had previously done work for the provincial government, was chosen to mediate.

This week Hout Bay Civic Association (HBCA) member James Davids said the association was refused participation in the mediation.

He said 39 people Williams said had been elected as Hangberg representatives did not have the whole community’s blessing.

“Williams knows about an elected civic association representing residents, but he started another group.

“This created division in our community. The 39 people don’t know organisation and don’t question him,” Davids said.

He said 324 residents had signed a petition recently giving the civic association a mandate to represent them.

Greg Louw, one of the 39 representatives, said the community chose Williams as a mediator and that Hangberg residents from each “block” had elected people to represent them in mediation.

He alleged some civic association members had pushed “a certain agenda” and that they and the ANC had “hijacked” a peace march after the violent clashes.

“With elections coming, they have their own agendas, but our community is saying it is time Hangberg people talk for Hangberg.

“Our people are tired of fighting,” Louw said.

He rejected allegations that Williams’s neutrality was affected because mediation was held on the City of Cape Town’s premises – as was a press briefing that followed on Tuesday.

“We used the city’s resources. It was us who asked the mayor’s office to invite the media. We don’t have resources or infrastructure,” he said.

Vanessa Witbooi, an ANC member in Hangberg, said: “The community is divided and this plays into the hands of the city. Williams should be neutral. A legitimate civic association wrote to him several times to be part of the process, but he ignored requests.

“His process of electing representatives is flawed. How can you invite people to a meeting 15 minutes before it begins? Then some were allowed in and others not.”

About Louw’s claim that the ANC had an agenda, she said: “The ANC branch has members affected. It assisted people arrested at the time and arranged legal support for them.

“After that the ANC decided to step back and let the HBCA and residents deal with the issues.”

Williams said the community’s lawyer Shihaam Samaai recommended him.

The parties, including SA National Parks, the province and the city had accepted him because of “my vast experience”.

Community co-ordinators had interacted with residents and made house calls and issued notices of meetings, he said.

“It is natural that sometimes people are not home when visits occur,” Williams said.

“These meetings are all clustered. There were meetings called for backyard dwellers, those in temporary structures or those in permanent structures – not compliant with the regulations. Three election meetings were called in different parts of Hangberg.”

He said 15 cluster election meetings were called and in 11, elections proceed.

He said parties in the mediation had afterwards all rejected the civic association’s request to attend.

In response to a question on who was paying him, Williams said: “I am a service provider – Brian Williams Consultancy – and currently the costs are shared by the parties.

“The community as one of the parties, however, do not pay me, but this does not affect my neutrality.”

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31 Jan 2011

City strikes deal in Hangberg land dispute

City strikes deal in Hangberg land dispute
Taken from eyewitnessnews.co.za  written by Themba Boyi:

Cape Town city officials and residents of Hangberg in Hout Bay hope a court-brokered mediation process will help them settle their land dispute.

In 2010 the area was the scene of violent clashes when the city council tried to relocate residents who had erected houses in fire breaks.

The court case to have them removed has been halted temporarily to allow for a mediation process.

A media briefing by Hangberg residents at the civic centre on Monday began as chaotically as much as the protests have been.

However, once the confusion had been cleared, chief mediator Brian Williams outlined several agreements struck between residents, the city and SANParks.

They entail a vow of cooperation among the various stakeholders as well as a promise from the city council not to relocate the residents.

Williams said the mediation efforts are an attempt by the different parties to settle the matter out of court.

The groups will be meeting again in three weeks’ time.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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17 Jan 2011

No immediate plans to move illegal structures in Hout Bay

No immediate plans to move illegal structures in Hout Bay

Taken from eyewitnessnews.co.za:

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato on Sunday said there were no immediate plans to remove illegally built structures on the Sentinel Hill in Hout Bay.

Read the rest here…

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