Cape Town – Heideveld residents blocked City officials from removing two containers donated by former mayor Patricia de Lille for use by a local NGO.
The organisation Mothers 4 Justice was launched by women from Cathkin Village settlement in Heideveld who came together to render assistance to their community, especially women and children.
De Lille donated the containers as a base to conduct their feeding and other community-based programmes following a visit. De Lille took to social media yesterday, saying: “What is happening now in Heideveld is terrible.
“Two containers I donated to Mothers for Justice last year are now being forcefully removed by the DA-run @CityofCT law enforcement. These containers assisted with office work and project planning to stop abuse against women and children.”
Mothers 4 Justice spokesperson Venessa Avriaanse said: “Our community know the work that we do and stood by us in solidarity because there are no other programmes for our people.
“This was done because the ward councillor has a problem with us and has been spreading untruths in order to get us out, but the community showed the need for us today (yesterday).”
Avriaanse said that De Lille had supported their initiative through her donation and at present, almost 100 community members were actively involved.
She said that they had joined up with other organisations and would take the matter up with current Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato next week. They will hand over a petition for the containers to stay put.
City spokesperson Priya Reddy said the containers had been used as temporary housing during the upgrade of Council Rental Stock in the last few years.
“Once the upgrades were completed, the containers became obsolete and the former mayor decided to donate them to worthy organisations. “However, they were underutilised and became a safety hazard.
“The local councillor received a formal complaint about vandalism and anti-social behaviour and requested that the containers be moved.”
Reddy said residents requested that the containers be relocated instead and a decision was made to hold off on the removal of the structures.