Sowetan: ‘City wants to hide us from Cup tourists’

‘City wants to hide us from Cup tourists’
01 June 2010
Anna Majavu

SOME of Cape Town’s poorer residents have accused the city of planning to build a wall – to hide them from World Cup tourists.

About 30 people took over a derelict building on the edge of Athlone Stadium’s parking lot seven years ago.

But now they are in the way of the city council plans to extend the parking lot of the stadium – which will be used as a football practice ground during the World Cup.

The city had previously applied to the courts to evict the people living there so that it could demolish the building and extend the parking lot. But the court ruled against the city, saying it should first find alternative accommodation.

A spokesperson for the group, Luwellyn Wilters, told Sowetan that they had been informed that the city would now build a wall around them.

“They are going to enclose us and forget about us. They going to enclose us so that nobody will see or notice that we are living here,” Wilters said.

“We don’t want that because we have been on the housing waiting list since 2003.

“The city even gave us a written acknowledgement that they know we are staying here, so why should we be hidden away like a dirty secret now?”

City spokesperson Kylie Hatton said : “We are looking at putting a fence up but it is not to hide them away, but to protect them.

“There are going to be cars there and we just want to be cautious. We are also looking at alternative options to house them.”