Thornton Muslims vs The City that works for you
The Thornton Islamic Society (TIS) has been leasing the property (Erf 1102) from the City for almost 13 years. This lease has been run on a month to month basis since about 2007 and throughout this period, TIS has been trying to either purchase the land or have the city commit to a long term lease.
TIS were recently advised by the City, that the land was zoned for Sports and Recreation purposes and we were subsequently advised that we are in contradiction of our Lease Agreement. Clause 2.2 of the Rental Agreement states:
The Rental shall be subject to any increases in terms of the tariff of rentals for land leased for SPORTING OR COMMUNITY PURPOSES as determined from time to time by the Lessors Executive Committee
TIS uses the facility to:
TIS has responded to the City on several occasions asking that we either be granted a Long Term Lease (currently on a month to Month Lease) or for the option to purchase the ERF. Once we have received a long term contract of acquire the land, it is our intention to build a Multi Function Community Centre that will benefit all residents of Thornton. To date, we have had no feedback from the City regarding this matter. However, during April of 2013, a Sub Council Meeting was held to discuss our plight and TIS was not informed of this meeting despite written requests for date and time confirmation from both TIS and Councillor Anwar Adams.
Further to this, the ex Thornton bowling Club (Thornton Sports Union) who previously were tenants at the adjacent ERF, ran up a water bill with the City that now sits at about R420 000 in arrears. The Water Supply to the Bowling Club is the main supply and TIS do not have a metre to our Erf. Only once the Thornton Bowling Club disbanded and moved out of the property, did the City start cutting the Water Supply due to Non payment. This resulted in TIS being without a Water Supply on several occasions. Thanks to Councillor Anwar Adams, TIS was spared many embarrassing moments for not being able to supply the congregation with the necessary water to perform our cleansing ritual before Friday prayers. TIS would also like to take this opportunity to thank Councillor Anwar Adams for his vigilance and assisting us to get the water supply turned on again.
The water supply was cut on Wed 2 October 2013 and a letter addressed to the Thornton Sports Union was left in the foyer of the Thornton Islamic Society stating that the water was disconnected due to an arrears amount of R 432 270.18. Councillor Adams again was vigilant in assisting with turning the water supply back on. The water was again turned off on 7 November 2013 and this time the accompanying letter stated the water account to the Thornton Sports Union is in arrears by R 35 186.74. The very first letter received about the outstanding arrears was approximately R380 000. Wondering if the account was really paid.
Thornton has 5 churches servicing the religious needs of the Christians in the area. Furthermore, one of the homes in the area also offers a Church Service on Sundays. The Scouts hall in Thornton also doubles up as a Church on Sundays.
Thornton’s residents number around 4000 of which 600 is Muslims and our 1 place of worship is not a permanent institute living on the grace of a month to month lease.
The Thornton Islamic Society would like to pose the following questions to the City of Cape Town:
TIS is asking you the reader to put yourself in ourshoes and consider the following:
Surely you too will feel as though this City, This City that Works for You is discriminating against the Muslims of Thornton.