15 December 2015
Andile Tumana, Executive Director: Kingdom Change Agents Movement, responds to statements made by Councillor Benedicta van Minnen, Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, about who represents the residents of Klipheuwel.
Councillor Van Minnen is quoted as having said that there were concerns about who the Kingdom Change Agents Movement represented since they did not live in Klipheuwel and were not known by the Klipheuwel Crisis Committee. “We cannot see the proliferation of many organizations claiming to represent the same community but not acting in the interest of the broader community.”
Klipheuwel Squatter Camp is indeed a forgotten area of the City of Cape Town. The population of the area is estimated at around over 3000 people. There is no electricity in the area; it is dark and dangerous; the members of the community tell how they struggle when a member gets sick at night or there is a tragedy in the area. Toilets are provided through a bucket system with “everything” being collected in plastic bags that sometimes lie in the street for hours which is very unhygienic; one is welcomed by a bad smell as one comes into the area.
There are no schools and clinics in the area, children are transported to the nearby school and people have to travel to Durbanville for most essential services.
If the statement that is reported about the Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements is true it is very unfortunate and is diverting attention from the genuine development challenges raised by the community of Klipheuwel.
Kingdom Change Agents Movement was invited by the members of community of Klipheuwel. We believe it is the prerogative of the community to invite support from any organisation which they think will add value in pursuit of a struggle for better life.
In all our correspondence to the City of Cape Town, KCAM has made it clear that the KCAM was requested by the community to facilitate engagements between the leadership of the community as represented by the Klipheuwel Community Development Forum (KCDF) and the City of Cape Town. KCDF is the structure that has obtained a mandate from the community to speak of its behalf. The latter organisation is registered in the database of City of Cape Town to operate in the jurisdiction of Sub Council 7 as required by the City of Cape Town by laws.
We do not expect the City of Cape Town and the so called crisis committee to know us.
As KCAM we have initiated a process of engagements with other civil society organisations to form strategic partnerships and pool resources in order to extricate the people from the dehumanizing situation they found themselves.
We have always challenged the City to come and meet us during the community general meetings; these meetings are public and transparent. We have also forwarded photos of the community general meetings to the City.
We concurred with Councillor Van Minnen that the proliferation of organisations that did not account to or obtain a mandate from the community of Klipheuwel must not be encouraged. The community of Klipheuwel used their prerogative to organise themselves under an apolitical structure; the Klipheuwel Community Development Forum. All of the above and other related information was submitted to sub council 7 during the registration of the organisation.
Views expressed are not necessarily GroundUp’s.