Residents left homeless after demolition of ‘illegal’ shacks

2018-09-14 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedThe municipality demolished a number of shacks in Harry Gwala Park, leaving a number of residents homeless.

PHOTO: suppliedThe municipality demolished a number of shacks in Harry Gwala Park, leaving a number of residents homeless.

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ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) from Matatiele have ordered the people of Harry Gwala Park to rebuild shacks after they were demolished on August 29.

Many people who were living in the shacks were left homeless while others were forced to seek shelter with relatives.

One of the affected residents, Lillian Phohledi (68), said she has been living in an RDP house for the past 18 years. She said she built a shack to accommodate her nine children and grandchildren because her RDP house was too small. She said her grandchildren have no place to sleep now.

Another affected resident, Ricardo Kotzee, said he was at work when his shack was demolished.

“When I returned home from work, my shack had already been destroyed and furniture was scattered next to the remains of shack.

“I built my shack for my wife and children to have a place of safety and now we are homeless,” said Kotzee who said he never received any notice.

Other people said their yards and furniture were destroyed when shacks were demolished.

Local EFF councillor Tumo Mothapa visited the area on Friday and ordered people to rebuild their shacks. He said those affected were supposed to be given alternative accommodation.

The Democratic Alliance caucus leader for Alfred Nzo District Municipality, Wonga Potwana, said the Matatiele Municipality must build RDP houses or temporary shelters for the affected people.

Matatiele Municipality spokesperson Olwethu Gwanya said the decision to tear down shacks in the area was granted by the court because the shacks had been built illegally, saying: “The order was granted in 2015, but implementation was delayed. People have been told many times not to built shacks in the area.”

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