Res­i­dents evicted from Joe Slovo set­tle­ment

Cape Argus - - METRO - SISONKE MLAMLA sisonke.mlamla@inl.co.za

THE PRO­VIN­CIAL de­part­ment of hu­man set­tle­ments has evicted more than 18 fam­i­lies from the Joe Slovo in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Langa to make way for the build­ing of for­mal hous­ing. The evic­tion fol­lows a court or­der granted to the de­part­ment by the West­ern Cape High Court.

Ntombox­olo Som­daka, spokesper­son for hu­man set­tle­ments MEC Bonginkosi Madik­izela, said they have been en­gag­ing with the res­i­dents, re­lo­cat­ing them one by one.

“Since 2013 we have been try­ing to re­lo­cate them to the Tem­po­rary Re­lo­ca­tion Area in Delft, but they were re­fus­ing,” said Som­daka. The N2 Gate­way Hous­ing Project was orig­i­nally launched in 2004, she said, with the goal of pro­vid­ing 22 000 houses to ac­com­mo­date peo­ple liv­ing in shacks and back­yards along the N2 cor­ri­dor and was de­scribed by the for­mer hous­ing min­is­ter, Lindiwe Sisulu, as the big­gest sin­gle hous­ing project ever un­der­taken in South Africa.

Som­daka said hu­man set­tle­ments ap­proved fund­ing for 2 886 houses to be built in Joe Slovo and 1 664 houses had been com­pleted and handed over to ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

She said the de­part­ment has since 2013 ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of chal­lenges in com­plet­ing the project as some res­i­dents re­fused and blocked the path of con­struc­tion.

“Rea­sons for the re­fusal in­clude the trav­el­ling dis­tance be­tween Langa and Delft de­spite the fact that trans­port pro­vi­sions were made and paid for,” said Som­daka. She made it clear that the de­lays forced the de­part­ment to ap­proach the court to ob­tain pow­ers to force­fully re­move the re­main­ing fam­i­lies from the site to al­low the de­vel­op­ment to go ahead.

Som­daka said the de­part­ment is pleased the evic­tion went ahead smoothly with­out any re­sis­tance.

“This had been a fi­nan­cial bur­den to gov­ern­ment and a de­lay to ac­cel­er­ate hous­ing de­liv­ery. The process of build­ing the re­main­ing 88 struc­tured of Phase 3A will go ahead im­me­di­ately. It is ex­pected to be com­pleted in March. The next phase of the de­vel­op­ment will con­tinue af­ter the com­ple­tion of Phase 3A.”

Dur­ing the evic­tion, some res­i­dents were in tears, watch­ing their homes be­ing de­mol­ished. Some homes were de­mol­ished in the oc­cu­pants’ ab­sence.

One res­i­dent, No­belithemba Zabezolo, 40, said she was us­ing the de­mol­ished shack as her “stand” to sell fruit and veg­eta­bles.

“I am un­em­ployed. I sur­vive by sell­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles, I don’t know where to go to sell now be­cause my stand is gone,” Zabezolo said.

She said she lived with her chil­dren, 17-year-old Emihle, Samkelo, 11, and Sikhokele, 6, who were at school dur­ing the evic­tion.

The area was mon­i­tored by law en­force­ment, po­lice and the anti-land in­va­sion unit of the City.

I am un­em­ployed. I sur­vive by sell­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles, I don’t know where to go now No­belithemba Zabezelo Evicted res­i­dent

PHANDO JIKELO African News Agency (ANA)

THE West­ern Cape High Court has or­dered 18 fam­i­lies to va­cate a piece of land in Joe Slovo, Langa. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.