CT to evict pavement dwellers

Cape Town - A Western Cape High Court judge on Monday granted an order for the eviction of 103 families who have been living in shacks on the pavement of Symphony Way, Delft, for the past 21 months.

The order allows authorities to shift the families in batches to corrugated iron structures in a nearby temporary relocation area nicknamed Blikkiesdorp.

In terms of the order, the first batch of 25 families is scheduled to be moved on Monday, but it was not immediately clear whether this would go ahead as planned.

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Forum chairman Ashraf Cassiem, who has been co-ordinating the families' legal battle, said after the ruling by Judge James Yekiso that they were "obviously not happy".

"It confirms that the law doesn't work for poor people. It confirms that if you can't afford a roof over your head, the state will give you a hokkie."

The residents committee would speak to their legal team to "seek other avenues, any avenue that doesn't lead to Blikkiesdorp".

"It's not over 'till it's over," he said.

The order followed a 12-day period of grace ordered by the court for the parties to "engage meaningfully" on how the evictions were to be carried out.

The city's advocate, Robert Stelzner, told Yekiso on Monday the families had used the meetings to "persist with demands made to now, and make further demands".

He said 23 of the families had indicated they would move voluntarily.

Stelzner also said the city would set up a temporary metro police office at Blikkiesdorp.

One of the concerns raised by the pavement-dwellers was the high crime rate in Blikkiesdorp.
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