Residents get to grips with their rights

More than 50 people attended the workshop where many questions were asked about the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The City of Cape Town teamed up with a law firm to host a workshop about Chapter 9 institutions for Hanover Park and Manenberg residents.

The two areas form part of the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP), which is tasked with upgrading areas that have suffered for years under urban decay. Its role is to improve safety and security, deal with socio-economic ills, and the quality of life, among others.

According to James Mkalipi, MURP facilitator, the idea of hosting events like this, came about while residents were working on their community action plan.

“The community action plan is like a mini Integrated Development Plan (IDP) – a wishlist from the community about what they want for their area. Part of that discussion involved the need to create awareness around constitutional rights. The City of Cape Town then heeded that call, and called on its service provider to host and ensure that the Chapter 9 institutions are here.

“We are hoping this workshop will forge debate and do a follow-up. This is just a start. The workshops are about empowering the community to know their rights, and when we are at fault, they must know where to complain,” Mr Mkalipi said.

Chapter 9 institutions refer to a group of organisations established in terms of Chapter 9 of the country’s constitution, that guard democracy. The institutions are the public protector, the SA Human Rights Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Commission for Gender Equality, the auditor-general, the Independent Electoral Commission, and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.

A workshop was held in Hanover Park on Tuesday February 27 and in Manenberg on Wednesday February 28.

Fazloodien Abrahams, director at tnk Attorneys and Conveyancers, who partnered with the City for these workshops, said the topics would help the community exercise their rights.

Topics covered by tnk Attorneys and Conveyancers, included labour law, marriage and the
legal aspects around it, the buying and selling of a house, deceased estates and the Consumer Protection Act.

Mr Abrahams said hosting workshops like these are “close to his heart”, as he grew up in Mitchell’s Plain and had to make sacrifices to get tertiary education, and his family had been met with a lot of challenges involving their rights over the years.

“We will definitely need a follow-up, as one day does not do justice to it, because of the content and the value it brings.

“The topics we identified are the most relevant to the community, and matters that the community find a challenge on a day-to-day basis – through the law, we identify and assist the community,” Mr Abrahams said.

More than 50 people attended the workshop in Hanover Park.