Cape evictees were enraged backyarders - councillor

2014-07-21 15:34
(Rodger Bosch, AFP)

(Rodger Bosch, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - People who erected shacks on Sanral-owned land in Lwandle, Cape Town, were enraged "backyarders" who were tired of unfulfilled service delivery promises, a city councillor said on Monday.

Residents of Wag 'n Bietjie, an informal settlement near Somerset West, had to be relocated after their shacks were destroyed in a large-scale fire in 2007, ANC councillor Mbuyiselo Matha told the Lwandle inquiry.

"In 2007, [then mayor Helen] Zille made promises to move people after fire gutted their houses. Some people were moved and some could not," he said.

Those who were not moved to three pieces of land in Nomzamo and Asanda Village, as part of an agreement, were forced to rent backyard dwellings in the area.

The inquiry, set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, was investigating the circumstances around the eviction of illegal shack-dwellers in Lwandle on 2 and 3 June.

Matha said that at the start of the year representatives of the backyarders told him they were going to occupy the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) road reserve next to the N2 because they were tired of poor service delivery and ill-treatment by their landlords.

He warned them about the implications of moving onto the land but they did not listen. The first eviction took place at the start of February and the second in June.

"I, as the ward councillor, was not informed of the evictions [beforehand]."

He said he was not invited to meetings with Sanral, city officials or the police before the evictions.


He first found out about the eviction on 2 June when he got a phone call from a resident that morning that police were carrying in barbed wire and firing teargas.

He asked the police official in charge on the scene to look for an amicable solution, but this was turned down.

"He could not provide me with the court order. Instead he gave people 10 minutes to disperse. People were fired with teargas and some people were assaulted, kicked, including a 9-months-pregnant woman."

Matha said Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement leader Andile Lili got a copy of the order and found it was a draft court order from the February eviction.

"They stopped the operation and went away."

Commission head Advocate Denzil Potgieter said there was a dispute as to how many families and shacks were affected by the June eviction.

The sheriff of the high court recorded about 230 demolished structures while residents claimed 849 structures were destroyed.

He asked Matha whether he had figures of his own.

Matha replied that he was not invited to count the shacks being demolished and relied on the community's figure because they had records of who had lived on the land.

The commission has until 5 August to conclude the inquiry.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  service delivery  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.