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The City of Cape Town this morning, 20 September 2018, applied for and was granted an urgent interdict against an organisation that is preventing elderly beneficiaries – some older than 70 years – from moving into their State-subsidised homes in Morningstar in Durbanville.

‘I am saddened and disgusted by what happened in Durbanville this morning. Pensioners who have been waiting for decades for a roof over their heads were denied the opportunity to receive the keys to their new houses in the City’s Morningstar development. These beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable in our society. They have been looking forward to this day for many years, and they have made special arrangements to attend the event that was scheduled for 12:00 today.

‘However, a group called the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative (MDUI), marched onto the development this morning to prevent the key handover from happening. They blocked Langeberg Road and burnt tyres. 

‘Shockingly, some of the protestors even threatened the beneficiaries and vowed to illegally occupy the houses tonight. We had no choice but to cancel this event in the interest of the safety of our residents and officials. Thus, what should have been a highlight and happy moment for these beneficiaries – some of them old, and others with disabilities – was hijacked by a small and selfish group of people with no shame,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The City applied for and was granted an urgent order by the Western Cape High Court earlier today. The order interdicts and restrains members of MDUI from entering the Morningstar property or to harass, threaten, intimidate, assault, and interfere with the beneficiaries, officials, and project steering committee (PSC) members of the Morningstar development.

The MDUI is also interdicted from interfering with the handing over of the 166 Breaking New Ground (BNG) State-subsidised houses that form part of this development, or to damage or vandalise the infrastructure, buildings, roads, and facilities on this site.

‘One of the Morningstar beneficiaries turned 70 three days ago, and another beneficiary turns 79 next month. We were hoping that these pensioners would have the joyous occasion of celebrating their next birthday in their own homes. This is a very sad day indeed,’ said Councillor Herron.

The City has spent approximately R34,2 million on the Morningstar project where 166 Breaking New Ground (BNG) State-subsidised houses were constructed.

The PSC was formed in 2012 already, and the PSC and City officials have worked together over many years to finalise the beneficiary list for this project. The MDUI, which claims to represent some residents from the wider area, opted not to be represented on the PSC.

‘We have attempted to work with the MDUI by agreeing to consider a list of people they wanted the City to include as beneficiaries for the Morningstar development. On Saturday 15 September 2018, the MDUI disrupted the meeting which City officials had arranged with 40 of the people who are on the MDUI list. This meeting was scheduled to verify whether they would qualify to be included in this development. In disrupting this meeting, the MDUI prevented us from assisting the very same people they claim to represent.

‘Now, when we are ready to hand over the keys to those beneficiaries who have walked the path with us, they want to make new demands. We cannot, and will not, allow this group to derail what we have achieved by working together with the worthy beneficiaries of the project,’ said Councillor Herron.

The matter will be argued in the Western Cape High Court on 24 October 2018.