Evicted Lwandle residents get respite from cold, hunger

2014-06-04 12:36

Hundreds of people evicted from Lwandle in Cape Town are receiving hot meals as a cold front hits the city.

“There are about 800 people, but we are catering for hot meals, blankets and mattresses for 1 000 people,” said disaster risk management centre spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

Residents were being accommodated at the Nomzamo Community Hall in Strand.

Solomons-Johannes said the residents were displaced after 223 shacks were demolished earlier in the week.

Their eviction began on Monday and continued yesterday.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the owner of the land, was granted an eviction order by the Western Cape High Court earlier this year.

Today, the transport department said the evictions should be put on hold.

“Minister [Dipuo] Peters undertook to issue a directive to Sanral to withdraw the court order while short- and long-term solutions are sought to resolve the challenges at hand,” said spokesperson Tiyani Ponto-Rikhotso.

“To this effect, the affected families will be allowed to return to the land they were evicted from pending discussions regarding long-term solutions to their challenges.”

He said the human settlements department and the transport department committed to engage with the provincial government and the City of Cape Town to find solutions for the evicted.

“Minister Peters and minister [Lindiwe] Sisulu emphasised the need for institutions of government to take responsibility for the welfare of communities they serve and desist from apportioning blame on others.”

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said while the people would be allowed to settle temporarily, government did not encourage the illegal occupation of land.

“We must be very clear, we do not encourage illegal occupation of land, it is the inhumane way in which children and women are being removed during winter that we are concerned about. The people will have to move out of the land when necessary arrangements are made,” Sisulu said.

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