Cape Town - Langa residents have started a petition to stop a “forced removal” of a prominent fast food outlet (New Hope Spaza) on the corner of Ndabeni Street and Bhunga Avenue, by the City.
The owner was given until November 17 to relocate the containers to another portion of the same erf after trading at the location for more than 27 years.
Owner Vuyiswa Taule said this was triggered by her application for the installation of water following renovations to the business after a devastating fire.
Taule said the section the City wanted her to relocate her “containers” to had deteriorated over the years and became a dumping site, and was close to an initiation site.
“This erf was zoned while I was already trading here. In 1997 when a petroleum company showed interest in the vicinity it was willing to accommodate me.
“Following that, after unofficial talks of a proposed development in the vicinity, I was advised to apply for another section of land in the same erf but waited for years for the City’s approval.
“Due to the lack of response from the City over the years, I had thought my application wasn’t successful and decided to go ahead with renovations. My businesses burnt down on two occasions that resulted in exorbitant costs to renovate.”
Taule said she was not able to move to the other section of the erf as she had fully invested in the business at the current location, including expansion, and this rendered the property immovable.
“When I applied for the land years ago and also in 2017, my establishment was made up of a container. Over the years the business grew drastically as the customer base increased from various areas outside Langa.
“The demand required more space and employees and a better working environment in consideration of health and safety standards,” she said.
Social movement organiser Faku Fesi said the business was one of the historical landmarks of Langa and had historical value. Its relocation would not only affect its clientele, but also the area, he said.
“The City is not acting in good faith by not allowing input from the community. Instead, it imposes its policies on us. Mrs Taule should be given a lease agreement to continue trading at that spot. We have several containers by foreign nationals on pavements, but they are exonerated from these policies and by-laws,” said Fesi.
City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the City was engaging with Taule, and had been attempting to regularise a long-term use.
He said the City had asked her to move the containers back a short distance as they were currently on top of a water main.