Bromwell Street families want to be relocated close to home

Cape Town - Families facing eviction from Bromwell Street, Woodstock, should be given temporary alternative accommodation close to the community from which they are being removed, Reclaim the City said on Tuesday.

The movement rejected the City of Cape Town’s indication that it could accommodate the evictees in state-subsidised housing schemes in Wolwerivier near Melkbos – around 30kms outside the CBD.

“We have visited Wolwerivier and nobody can live a decent life there. As during the forced removals of apartheid, our families will be uprooted from our communities, and lose access to jobs, good schools and healthcare,” evictees’ spokesperson Charnell Commando said in a statement.

“Bromwell Street residents demand that the City of Cape Town does more to provide them, and all other evictees with temporary alternative accommodation nearer to the community in which they have lived for their entire lives.”

Bromwell Street residents protested in August over the proposed evictions, outside the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.

The sit-in brought the “struggle against evictions to the heart of gentrification,” Reclaim the City said at the time.

The Woodstock Hub bought the land in 2013. Tenants lost an appeal over the recent eviction order, and previously had until September 9 to move out.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille told protesting residents in September that the city was not ordered to provide alternate accommodation for the evictees, as the sale was a private matter.

According to Reclaim the City’s website, the families brought an urgent application in September before the Western Cape High Court, to stall the eviction while the court ruled on the city’s obligation to provide the evicted families with emergency accommodation in the area.

The families are being represented by the Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre and the case will be heard on January 31.

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