27 March 2008 at 10:30am
LANGA, CAPE TOWN – Angry First Phase N2 Gateway Flats residents from Langa are calling on the media to attend their meeting tonight (27 March 2008) with the development company that funded Thubelisha Homes to build the defective flats they are staying in.
The meeting will take place at the Langa Sports Complex from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
The N2 Gateway flats residents have been boycotting rent payments since June 2007, after the company failed to repair the massive defects in their flats. These defects included huge cracks in walls, and leaking roofs to the extent that rooms became unliveable and parents had to send their children away to live with extended family members. There was also a problem since the residents moved in, in September 2006 that anybody’s keys could open anyone else’s flats. The company refused to change the locks and the residents were spending a lot of money changing locks and repairing defects on these rental properties.
The Committee has tried to solve the current impasse by suggesting to the company that they pay a committment fee of between R250 and R690 per month for three months, in exchange for which they expect the company to repair all the flats to a liveable standard, and to change the management team. The current management team is useless, according to the N2 Gateway Residents Committee.
However, the company agreed to this in a small meeting but then when it came to reporting back to the community, they announced that they wanted a much higher amount. The community was not prepared to pay this, given that they will also pay back rental arrears once the flats have been repaired.
The N2 Gateway Residents Committee is angered that the company is not taking them seriously. The N2 Gateway Residents Committee has gone out of their way to solve problems that are not their responsibility. The community understood from the glossy newspaper adverts that this national flagship project was providing well built flats that were ready for occupation, and that all the tenants had to do was pay their rent and move in. However they soon saw that once again, the poor were being taken for a ride. As with all other low cost housing projects in the city, the developers made a huge profit by using cheap and substandard building materials and by cutting corners (i.e. not providing individual keys and locks for the flats), thereby showing their disrespect for poor and working class Black citizens.
The N2 Gateway Residents Committee also supports the Joe Slovo community, which is currently appealing against a forced removal court order handed down by Judge Hlophe.
For more information, please call Luthando Ndabambi, N2 Gateway Residents Committee Co-ordinator on 079 8966126