Tambo Village community demand upgrades

HAZEL ALLIES-HUSSELMAN

A Tambo Village community leader says she has been fighting for the upgrade of her community for 16 years, but nothing has happened so far.

Desiree Fransman claims a former ward councillor presented them with plans for an upgrade as far back as 2004, and promised to build an indoor sports centre, a community centre, a soccer field and outdoor recreational facilities, as well as grow a vegetable garden and plant more than 100 trees, but none of it materialised.

The part of Tambo Village she lives in, phase 2 of the housing development, is called Tambo Square by the locals, after an informal settlement in Gugulethu where many of the residents lived previously. The two phases flank the old GF Jooste Hospital. The “square” is much smaller than the “village”.

Ms Fransman said: “I have always been of the opinion that things don’t just happen overnight, so we have been patient. However, I invited the councillor to our area, because there is just no development. Our children can’t play here. We don’t even have a park or a netball field. When our children walk across to Manenberg or Gugulethu, they are told that they can’t play there, because they are not from the area. Also, it is not safe for them to walk so far from home, especially with all the shootings that happened recently. “Where must our children go to? The lack of recreation, is part of the reason why teenage pregnancies are so high in our community. To me, it feels like we were just dumped here and forgotten about.”

She said unemployment was rife in the neighbourhood and accused Sub-council 11 of ignoring Tambo Square residents when selecting people for job opportunities.

However, Ward 45 councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli said the database from which the sub-council selected residents for work was being “fine-tuned” all the time.

“We have been looking into the job-seeker policy, because we want to maximise job opportunities for everybody and want to guarantee a fair process,” he said.

Ms Fransman said it saddened her that the planned upgrade proposed in 2004 had never materialised.

“What happened to all the money over the past 16 years that was supposed to have been used for our area? I love my community. We are multiracial, tight-knit and the respect people have here for one another is very rare. For now, we want answers about our long overdue upgrade,” she said.

Ms Fransman complained that residents in her section of Tambo Village had never received their titles deeds. Also, she had received no support to set up a neighbourhood watch, but, despite that, a small group of residents still patrolled the area every night.

However Sub-council 11 chairman Mzuvukile Nikelo said development had indeed taken place in Tambo Village and that the two pockets of the community could not be separated. “There is only one community residing in this area,” he said.

Mr Nikelo said the Silverstream Park integrated communities in Tambo Village and Manenberg and was being upgraded in phases, funded from ward allocations over the course of several financial years, with R500 000 budgeted for the current financial year and further funding proposed for the next.

He said traffic-calming measures, such as speed humps, had been built in the Tambo and Phoenix areas; the Tambo Village neighbourhood watch had received equipment to help it patrol the entire area and the national government was upgrading the Silverstream Primary School, creating job opportunities for surrounding communities in the process.

Asked about the title deeds, Mr Nikelo said: “The City of Cape Town’s human settlements directorate has appointed a conveyancer to transfer erf 9963 and the remainder of erf 9964, comprising 260 erven. Thus far, 24 erven have been finalised.”

Mr Mamkeli said the Tambo Square part of Tambo Village “has a lot of issues”, some of which he hoped would be resolved by the new demarcation of the ward.

“Some people living in those houses are not the original owners. There have also been allegations that people are selling land that belongs to the municipality. We also tried to build another park nearby, but the poles had been broken. My hope is that the incoming ward councillor will make the positive changes needed. With the new demarcation of the ward, Gugulethu won’t be part of Ward 45. This means that more money would be available to spend in Manenberg, and the ward allocation would not have to be split between these communities.”