Press release

Associations meet at MJC (SA) offices about Siqalo protests

The following organizations had an amicable and fruitful meeting at the MJC Offices in Athlone on the 3rd May 2018.

Muslim Judicial Council (SA), Housing Assembly, Siqalo community representatives, Al Azhar Primary school, Hawkers against Crime, Mitchell’s Plain United Residents Association (MURA), South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), Imaamat Council of Mitchell’s Plain (ICOMP) and the Water Crisis Coalition (WCC).

We note:

  1. Fundamentally it is the failure of the City of Cape Town to provide housing and services for residents — which is at the heart of the protests;
  2.  The City knew about conditions in Siqalo for the past 7 years; they were aware 2 ½ years ago that the owner of the land was prepared to sell it to the City or swop it for alternate land;
  3.  Having 13 taps, no electricity and inadequate sanitation in Siqalo is not acceptable.
  4. In the rest of Mitchells Plain, thousands of backyard dwellers and residents being on the waiting list for long periods, often more than 20 years, is all not acceptable.  In fact, this is a general problem in many areas around the City.

We resolve as follows:

  1. Re-affirm the decision by the Siqalo community since Wed 2 May to suspend their protest to allow urgent talks between community representatives facilitated by the MJC (SA) and jointly take the broader community’s grievances to the City of Cape Town.
  2. The meeting confirmed that Siqalo residents and the broader Mitchell’s Plain communities are not enemies of each other but rather have common grievances and it can only be resolved if we work together along the lines of non-racism and non-violence.
  3. The Siqalo community has long demanded the closure of a drug-den in its area. The rest of Mitchell’s Plain also suffers from this scourge of drugs. We therefore call on the relevant government authorities to act decisively in all cases.
  4. The Siqalo Committee stated it that has never had any issue with the broader community of Mitchell’s Plain and guarantees (to the best of their ability) the safety of anyone passing through the roads in front of Siqalo.
  5. That the Siqalo and Mitchell’s Plain United Residents Assocation (MURA) and other community organizations will urgently meet to work out a joint programme of action in a united front.
  6. We call for calm within our communities and that due respect be shown to the safety of all people and property. We further call for an end to all forms of violence and vigilantism.
  7. Lastly, we call on the South African Police Services (SAPS) to fulfil their mandate of ensuring the safety and security of all communities.

Our sincere condolences to the passing of Mogamat Tauriq Mohamed, who tragically lost his life on Wednesday evening at the community protest. May Allah Almighty grant him Jannattul Firdaws Ameen.

A follow-up meeting will be called in the next few days.