INGEHOK: Residents in Overcome Heights upset. CREDIT: Patrick Louw
Two informal settlements located in one community are threatening to protest because they refuse to be ingehok.

Residents of Overcome Heights and Hillview near Lavender Hill say they have been forgotten by the Department of Human Settlements, despite “millions of rands” allocated for houses.

They are now calling on Counillor Benedicta van Minnen to give them houses or they will go on the march.

Overcome Heights is home to 6 500 people living in 3 500 shacks, while Hillview is home to some 700 people.

This week residents learnt their areas are to be “reblocked” - when shacks are rearranged and reconstructed to maximise open space in the settlement.

Fouzia Cassiem, the chairperson of the Overcome Heights committee, says their protest is not political.

“We have heard Van Minnen wants to do something called ‘reblocking’. This means us moving from one blikkie to another.

“I have been living here for 11 years and I have been on the housing list for 33 years.

“We will march to the Mayor if we get no answers. Millions of rands were allocated for housing but we have seen nothing here, not a brick has been built.”

Charmaine Pretorius, who heads the Hillview informal settlement committee, says they have drawn up a petition demanding houses: “Homes are being built in Delft and in Mitchells Plain and other areas but they think we must just accept this.”

Van Minnen confirmed a survey is being conducted in the areas. But she says mense should not be holding their breath for baksteen huise.

She says: “... in an effort to improve the living conditions of the area, the City is working with Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading not-for-profit company (VPUU NPC) on the upgrading/improvement of the settlements in the Heights and, as such, this will be a housing project, although without brick and mortar houses.”