South Africa: Bonnytoun Residents Ignored By City of Cape Town

17 January 2020

"We will not protest and destroy infrastructure like other communities do, but we are asking the City to do their work."

Residents of Bonnytoun informal settlement in Wynberg are fed up with being ignored by the City of Cape Town.

Six months ago GroundUp reported that the City had delivered broken toilets to the neighbourhood. The City apologised and removed them. But community leader Mona Allie described to GroundUp residents' fruitless attempts since then to get their councillor to address their problems. These are

three broken toilets to be replaced;

the need for a pedestrian crossing over busy Rosmead Avenue for children to use on their way to and from school;

a worn out container used for meetings, projects and prayer meetings to be replaced; and

the only pathway connecting the informal settlement to the main road in the area to be paved as it gets too muddy in winter.

Allie told GroundUp that a meeting that ward councillor Montgomery Oliver promised to set-up in May 2019 had still not taken place. She said they last had a meeting with Oliver about Bonnytoun in November 2018.

She also said that two weeks ago she phoned the City to assist with a broken pipe but the City workers only came a week later, after the water had flooded the residents' houses. She said: "We will not protest and destroy infrastructure like other communities do, but we are asking the City to do their work."

In an email to GroundUp Oliver apologised to the Bonnytoun residents. "I will convene a meeting with the relevant officials and community members," he wrote.

Oliver said he was expecting a report within two months from the Roads Engineer about the pedestrian crossing over Rosmead Avenue. He had also approached the Social Development Department for their assistance with a replacement for the container. "I am awaiting their feedback on this request."

He further said he will contact the department responsible for the broken toilets to be prioritised. He also confirmed that the water pipe was repaired on 7 January after his office alerted officials in the water department.

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