New round of evictions in Wolwerivier

2017-03-10 07:32
Wolwerivier resident Wilfred Claasens collects some of his things after law enforcement officers evicted him. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks, New24)

Wolwerivier resident Wilfred Claasens collects some of his things after law enforcement officers evicted him. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks, New24)

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Cape Town - A number of people were on Thursday evicted from houses in Wolwerivier, the city’s housing project about 30km from the Cape Town CBD, GroundUp reported.

Locals said more than 20 families were affected. Warning notices were placed on the houses stating they were “Emergency Housing Units” only to be occupied by “approved beneficiaries”.

After Cape Town law enforcement officials removed belongings, padlocks were put on the doors. Residents complained that their belongings and electronic goods were damaged.

As soon as officers left, the locks were broken and residents started carrying their furniture back in. Residents claim this is not the first time this has happened.

A year ago, GroundUp reported that more than 150 houses had been standing vacant. In 2015, GroundUp reported that the city evicted recently housed families.

Magdalene Minnaar, a community leader, said there was overcrowding in Wolwerivier,

“People with children. The houses are really too small, and they have no privacy. There was no need for this [eviction].”

One of the people evicted, Morne Goodman, said he had been living in the house with his son and a friend for six months.

According to Goodman, law enforcement officers broke the windows the last time he was evicted from the same house. Goodman said although he had lived in the Wolwerivier area for 32 years, he did not get a house.

“That is my right, to get a house, because I was born here,” he said.

Jackson Mgudlwa, a resident since 2015, said that left unoccupied, the vacant houses were vandalised, broken into, and the window frames and the doors stolen. He claimed the empty houses could be used by criminals.

This is why Wolwerivier residents with no place to stay should move in, he said.

Mayoral committee member for informal settlements, Xanthea Limberg, said there were 30 vacant units earmarked for emergency housing.

Limberg said it appeared that “almost half of the illegal occupants already have a unit in the city-owned Wolwerivier development”.

“It cannot be, with the housing need, that some are occupying two units, while others wait for an opportunity. The city urges the illegal occupants in the other units to vacate immediately,” she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing

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