Gamalakhe: municipality steps in to help residents avoid eviction

2011-10-12 00:00

THE Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) has come to the aid of 52 families of ward 27 in Gamalakhe who were given eviction notices from homes they have lived in for over 20 years.

According to the notice, the land on which the homes were built belongs to a company called Hume Housing.

HCM spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said the company demanded that the residents vacate the premises; alternatively the local authority should compensates the company for the land to the tune of R2 million.

“According to court papers, Hume Housing alleges to have acquired ownership of the land in 1988 and is demanding the eviction of these families.”

Soboyisa said the process of evicting people from any land is governed by legal prescripts.

“Families could possibly have been forced to relocate had a court of law instructed so.

“This would add to socio-economic challenges in the area as many families are poverty-stricken …

“After the matter came to our notice in July the municipality, as the government closest to the community, decided to assist the people of Gamalakhe.”

HCM met the affected community, which formed a steering committee to represent their interests.

“Together with HCM the community representatives met the provincial Department of Human Settlements and the state attorney with a view to resolve the matter.”

Human Settlements has made a commitment to work with the municipality by funding the purchase of the land.

“The people were overjoyed when we briefed them recently and expressed relief …” Soboyisa said,

Attorneys representing the municipality and community will soon meet Hume Housing to discuss the logistics involved in resolving the issue, he added.

Hume Housing could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

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