Belinda Petersen addressed Manenberg residents about their concerns. Residents in and around Irvine Road in Manenberg launched a new organisation to help them tackle issues such as unemployment and housing concerns, among others.The group gathered on Wednesday February 27, outside a house in Irvine Road, to elect a committee to represent them, and to voice some of their concerns.Belinda Petersen chaired the meeting of the new organisation, called Manenberg Action Group. The members believe that their concerns will be escalated if they are being dealt with as a collective.Many of the residents, who spoke, shared their own challenges when it came to acquiring property. Most of them are backyard dwellers who did not qualify for a housing opportunity in the Manenberg Infill Housing Project.Accusations of corruption and houses allegedly being sold were among the concerns raised.Resident Steven Atties said it seemed like one was only given a housing opportunity “if you know people”. “I’ve been on the housing waiting list for 13 years. There are young people who received houses, and the older people are still living in backyards,” Mr Atties said.Roseline Jacobs, who is a backyarder, said she had been on the housing waiting list for 30 years. “Ek is moeg geloop. I have been attending meetings and went to town to enquire so many times since 2012. Every time I am just being told I must wait for the next screening,” Ms Jacobs said.Nadia Faro has a five-year-old daughter with special needs. She has been on the housing waiting list for 11 years.“I was told I don’t qualify for a house, even though my case is different. We live in a shack and I have to be in and out of hospital with my daughter, because the conditions are not conducive for her health. My daughter has a rare condition called Cri du chat syndrome. She cannot walk or talk, and she has abdominal kidneys. She is wheelchair-bound and needs lots of care,” Ms Faro said.Ms Petersen also used the platform to encourage residents to register their businesses, so that they can make use of the development opportunities coming to Manenberg as part of the Manenberg Urban Upgrade. Part of the upgrade, as agreed upon by the City of Cape Town, provincial government, and the Manenberg Steering Committee, involves the building of a 590-bed regional hospital, a school of skills, upgrades to several primary schools, and infrastructure upgrades, among others. 1 of 3 The Manenberg Action Group committee are, from left, chairperson Yusuf Gelderbloem, treasurer Farahnaaz Cupido, deputy chairperson Sedick Gelderbloem, chairperson Shahiem Daniels, secretary Veronica Galant, and assistant secretary Carmelita Julie. Belinda Petersen addressed Manenberg residents about their concerns. Shahieda Adams shared her frustrations with her fellow residents.