‘You sold Bo-Kaap’

Bonginkosi Madikizele

“This is disrespect, this is undignified. Bo-Kaap is our home, you don’t just invite people without consulting the residents.” These were the words of Bo-Kaap resident and human rights lawyer, Seehaam Samaai to provincial leader of the DA Bonginkosi Madikizela last week.

Ms Samaai was addressing Mr Madikizela, who is also the provincial MEC for Human Settlements, outside Schotschekloof civic centre in the Bo-Kaap on Tuesday August 28.

Mr Madikizela, MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sports, Anroux Marais and Ward 77 councillor Brandon Golding visited the area to talk about issues facing the community.

However, the meeting could not take place because the centre was locked, forcing them to meet outside.

Residents said they had not been told about the meeting, but found out about it on social media.

“Every time we call you to meet the residents, you never come. You need to respect people. We recently lost a court case. Where were you? Where were you when the residents were fighting the monster building? You didn’t come to Bo-Kaap when we sent you letters asking to assist us in our struggle,” said Ms Samaai.

The chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic Association, Osman Shaboodien, said they’ve been asking Mr Madikizela, to come to Bo-Kaap as the MEC for Human Settlements to address, among others, the issue of social housing in Bo-Kaap.

Mr Shaboodien said the community was aggrieved and angry over the policies of the DA.

“Our challenge to you is, we can only meet you once you declare a moratorium on the sale of our land in Bo-Kaap, so our people can get social housing.”

Ms Marais requested that the community send their demands to her but residents said they did not know her.

“Why must we send our demands to everybody? Ask your party, they know our issues,” shouted one resident.

Another resident, Ebrahim Christians told Mr Madikizela that he was too late. He said they (the DA) did not know anything about the Bo-Kaap, because the area was never on their agenda.

“You sold Bo-Kaap to the developers, you are 20 years late in coming here. The tears of the old people and pensioners are lying on the doorstep of the DA,” he said.

Mr Christians accused officials of fabricating lies about issues such as the water crisis and water tariffs.

Mr Madikizela admitted that the meeting had been organised as a political one and asked that it be postponed and a public meeting arranged.

“Ward councillor Brandon Golding will have to take off his hat as a politician and wear his hat as a councillor for the next meeting to be successful.

“Before the meeting takes place, I’ll need to receive your concerns, so when I come back, I come back with answers,” Mr Madikizela said.

Mr Golding said he would be handing over residents’ demands to the provincial government.