‘We are ready to burn’

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

THE ONE hun­dred and fifty res­i­dents who have re­cently built shanties in the lat­est in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Jack­sonville, be­hind the Rood­e­pan Po­lice Sta­tion, are prepar­ing to stage a mas­sive protest if they are evicted.

Res­i­dents of the set­tle­ment, named Aceville, said that they were served with no­tices by Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which or­dered that they should va­cate the area by the end of the week.

“The let­ter has no let­ter­head and we are not go­ing any­where. If we are force­fully re­moved we will take our protest to the street and shut down Rood­e­pan and Homeval­ley. The roads will be blocked from the robot lead­ing into Galeshewe and Ler­ato Park . . . we are ready to burn.”

They also slammed Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for ex­pect­ing chil­dren, the el­derly and dis­abled res­i­dents to go home­less.

They pointed out that the in­tended evic­tion would leave chil­dren, the el­derly and dis­abled res­i­dents home­less.

The first baby to be born in the area, a 1.8 kilo­gramme baby girl, made an un­ex­pected ar­rival at the in­for­mal set­tle­ment last week when she was de­liv­ered in­side a shanty.

Neigh­bours as­sisted in the birth of Ter­sia-Lee Ap­pie when her mother, Tar­ryn Ap­pie, went into labour on October 1 at about 10pm, while her fa­ther, Ben­jamin Moss, rup­tured the am­ni­otic sac.

Elaine Weels said that Ter­sia-Lee was the first baby to be born in the in­for­mal set­tle­ment that was es­tab­lished about three weeks ago.

“Ev­ery­one jumped in to help with the birth. How can they (Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity) ex­pect a new­born baby, an 80-year-old grand­mother and dis­abled res­i­dents to be home­less?”

An­gelique Ti­tus stated that Tar­ryn had been ad­vised to re­turn home from the hos­pi­tal af­ter her con­trac­tions had started.

“The am­bu­lance ar­rived af­ter the baby was born. Luck­ily there were no com­pli­ca­tions and the baby is healthy.”

The baby’s grand­mother, Ly­dia Ap­pie, in­di­cated that the baby was only ex­pected at the end of the month.

“She came as a sur­prise so we don’t have enough nap­pies and clothes. Ter­sia-Lee is my 21-yearold daugh­ter’s first baby.”

She added that she shared a sin­gle bed in the shanty with her five chil­dren and the baby.

San­nah Vorster mean­while is in the process of build­ing a shanty for her 80-year-old mother, who will be shar­ing her new home in the in­for­mal set­tle­ment with two young grand­chil­dren.

“She has never owned her own home and is look­ing for­ward to liv­ing here. It will kill her if she has to leave. She used her pen­sion money to buy the zinc for her home.”

An­other res­i­dent, James Har­ris, said that they had cleared the area next to the ceme­tery, which was a dump­ing site.

“Women were raped here, while mur­der­ers and thieves used to fre­quent the area. We have taken it upon our­selves to clean the area and put it to good use. We are set­ting up homes here be­cause we are tired of liv­ing in over­crowded con­di­tions.”

Com­mu­nity leader Sa­muel “Oom Ace” Papier said that he was warned that le­gal action would be taken against him for as­sist­ing the res­i­dents.

“Th­ese house­holds can’t be evicted if the other shanties in Jack­sonville, who were also given evic­tion no­tices, are al­lowed to re­main. “The coun­cil­lor re­quested me to ac­com­mo­date a num­ber of peo­ple in Aceville, which has been named in my hon­our.”

Papier stated that any­one in need of land to erect a shanty was wel­come to make them­selves at home in Aceville.

“We will as­sist in ar­rang­ing a plot. The area has been sur­veyed and just needs to be num­bered. There are 150 shanties that were erected so far.”

ANC ward coun­cil­lor Paul Kok said a com­mu­nity meet­ing was held yes­ter­day to dis­cuss the in­for­mal set­tle­ment.

“I am not aware of the evic­tion no­tices. The land was oc­cu­pied with­out permission from coun­cil.”

Sol Plaatje Mu­nic­i­pal­ity spokesper­son, Sello Mat­sie, said that le­gal action would be taken against Papier for en­cour­ag­ing the com­mu­nity to erect shacks il­le­gally.

“If he per­sists, we will at­tach his prop­erty as com­pen­sa­tion.”

Mat­sie con­firmed that no­tices to va­cate were served on the com­mu­nity, although no court or­der has been ob­tained yet.

Mean­while, the cou­ple that were liv­ing in a tent op­po­site El­iz­a­beth Con­radie School on the Cape Town road have va­cated the area.

Res­i­dents in the area said that the man and woman were last seen liv­ing un­der a tree in the open piece of veld on October 4.

A DA coun­cil­lor in­di­cated that the cou­ple were evicted from Palm Park and had nowhere else to go.

“Sol Plaatje security ad­vised them that they could not re­main there as it would at­tract other home­less peo­ple to the area.”

DA ward coun­cil­lor Phillip Vorster said that he had not re­ceived any com­plaints from res­i­dents in the area re­gard­ing the pres­ence of the tent dwellers.

WEL­COME: So­raya Crowie

Sa­muel Papier, a com­mu­nity leader in Jack­sonville, wel­comes ev­ery­one who needs a place to set up home in Aceville.

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