Scene 6: All Parties Come Together


The purpose of this meeting was to meet with Leon about infrastructure concerns related to the reblocking of Flamingo Crescent.  Another purpose of this meeting was to express any concerns about the layout of shacks to Sizwe so that he could answer our questions.  In this meeting, we also wanted to bring together the community, CORC, city officials, and the WPI Project team to evaluate the current status and future work to be completed in Flamingo Crescent.

Cast of Characters

WPI Project Team
WPI Professors: Scott Jiusto, Lorraine Higgins
City Employees: Anneline Plaaitjies, Estralita Kwalo, Reggie O’Brien
City Contractor: Leon Poleman
CORC Liaison: Sizwe Mxobo
Flamingo Crescent Residents: Mark, Elizabeth, and Aunt Marie


The City of Cape Town informal settlement department office in Ottery.


After some last minute hashing out of our meeting agenda in an inpromptu meeting with Sizwe beforehand, we were able to finally understand whom to direct our questions toward.  Sizwe explained that any questions about the reblocking and layout should be directed towards him and that Leon’s focus was primarily involving the infrastructure which mostly consisted of the water and sanitation installation.  Fortunately, Sizwe was able clarify some questions that we had regarding the layout before the meeting.  Our CAD team was confused because the layout that Leon sent us did not correspond to what Sizwe had.  We learned that Leon’s map simply had properties rather than structures, and we were assured that the layout was correct.  Sizwe was also able to clear up any concerns we had regarding the area densely populated with trees and showed us that it would not affect the shack placement from the original reblocked version we saw.

An inside look at our meeting

An inside look at our meeting

Now that our agenda was modified and some of our questions had been answered the meeting began by clarifying some questions we had with Leon.  We asked if the layout the he sent us was the final version and he confirmed that it was.  He reminded us that the layout is primarily developed by the community in partnership with NGOs such as CORC and ISN while the city dealt with providing services such as water and sewer.  Next, we informed Leon that there were a few trees that according to the map were where roads were going to be.  Leon said that at this point it was not a major concern because the roads are not intended for consistent driving, but simply for emergency vehicle access to the settlement.

We then brought up the point that there are two shack owners that do not want to move or want new structures.  Sizwe assured us that this would not affect the reblocking.  Leon explained that there were some shacks in Mtshini Wam that used their own materials and that no one in Flamingo Crescent was being forced to pay for a new shack.  From there conversation shifted to the savings program that the community has in place.  Leon said that from the city’s perspective money would not be an issue and directed us to contact Sizwe and the community about the savings plans.

Our last objective of the meeting was to determine the stages of construction.  Leon explained that each instance was different.  In Mtshini Wam priority was put on the shacks and then the sewer network was laid afterwards.  In Flamingo Crescent the plan was to form a sewer network and then to reblock the shacks followed by finalising the roads and surfaces in the settlement.  Leon informed everyone that the contractor was planning on being on site on November twentieth, the planned start date for construction, and Leon said that he would be there to meet with them.  Scott asked Leon about how he saw the WPI Project team contributing to the project.  Leon was pleased with the contributions made last year to the Mtshini Wam community and suggested doing a build project with the community.


This meeting was important for our team to learn about where Flamingo Crescent stands in the reblocking process.  The meeting was difficult at times because some of the questions we asked Leon were not entirely in his area of jurisdiction, but we got concrete information on the infrastructure plans, and that the sewer contractors will be starting as scheduled.  Sizwe helped us understand key issues regarding the trees and how they might conflict with the construction, and he assured us that the layout that was sent to us was correct.  This meeting reassured our team and the community members that although slow, progress was being made in Flamingo Crescent.