Evicted residents distressed at prospect of living in Wolwerivier

2018-03-20 13:57

Cape Town – On Saturday, about 60 members of Reclaim the City visited Wolwerivier to speak to the community about life in the temporary relocation area.

Many of the Reclaim the City members are facing eviction from the inner suburbs of Cape Town. Another group of Woodstock residents also visited Wolwerivier last week, GroundUp reported.

This comes on the back of a report by the City's legal team to the Cape Town Magistrate's Court in an eviction case stating that Wolwerivier and Blikkiesdorp are currently the only available emergency settlements for people facing eviction.

eviction
Members of Reclaim the City, many of them facing eviction from the inner suburbs of Cape Town, visited Wolwerivier to speak to the community about life in the temporary relocation area. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

In the last three years dozens of families, who have lived in areas such as Salt River and Woodstock for decades, have been forced out of their homes because of rising rent prices. Soaring rents have followed new developments and higher property prices, making it increasingly unaffordable for low-incomes households.

Shaneeka Abdullah, who was evicted from Pelican Park in April last year, said that with a 2-month-old and a 12-year-old daughter the thought of being moved to Wolwerivier was "stressful".

The nearest clinic, which is in Dunoon (nearly 12km away), is open until 16:30 on weekdays only. People have to take time off work to visit it or travel further to a facility that is open in the evenings.

Early mornings

Abdullah said her youngest daughter has a problem with her ears and has to attend regular treatment at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Mowbray.

"How will I manage to travel up and down from there?" she asked.

Read: 'They chucked me out like a dog' - evicted Woodstock resident

For most people living in the Cape Town metro, the nearest social grant pay point or shopping centre is a short taxi ride or within walking distance from their homes. But for beneficiaries living in Wolwerivier the nearest cash pay point is in Table View, and it costs up to R22 just to get there. It is a 20-minute, non-stop taxi ride from Wolwerivier to Leibrandt van Niekerk community hall in Table View.

Wolwerivier resident Cylvia Sigojo, who is unemployed, said that to save money she usually sets out on foot at 05:00 to catch a taxi in Dunoon. It takes her about two hours.

"I'm unemployed and rely on my children's grants," says Sigojo.

"I then get a taxi from Dunoon to Cape Town if it's too full in Table View to collect the grants… If you get back to Dunoon after the last taxi to Wolwerivier (which leaves at 20:00), you have to walk back home again."

A taxi from Wolwerivier to Dunoon costs R12. It is another R9.50 to the cash point in Table View or R13 to the Cape Town CBD or R14 to Bellville. If she does not walk for four hours, it costs Sigojo between R43 and R52 to collect her R720 in children's grants.

Trouble getting around

Mzwandile Jackson Mgudlwa, a community leader in Wolwerivier, said they had asked that taxi operators create a direct trip to the pay point for elderly beneficiaries when they were first moved to the camp in 2015. Nothing had come of this request, he said.

The nearest shopping mall is off Usasaza Street in Dunoon. Sigojo said the mall doesn't always have everything she needs for her children for school, such as sports clothes, shoes and school uniforms.

"So then I'll have to pay for another taxi to Bayside (Table View) or Bellville or sometimes to Cape Town," she said.

The mall is where most people also go to collect their grants at the Shoprite.

"Those who prefer going to the bank use this (Capitec) ATM because not all of the banks are here," said Sigojo.

She said if she has a lot of shopping bags she needs to take an additional taxi for R7 to get to the Dunoon taxi rank.

Under-resourced police station

There are some spaza shops in Wolwerivier but the range of goods is limited.

Abdullah, who is now occupying the old Woodstock Hospital, which Reclaim the City renamed the Cissie Gool House, was also with the group that visited the nearest police station. It is in Philadelphia, a small farming community about 15km from Wolwerivier.

The group found the station to be under-resourced, although it has to service a large area which includes farms and several informal settlements. Wolwerivier residents said there was no public transport to the police station.

Abdullah said: "We spoke to a sergeant who told us that it can take between three to five hours before they send a vehicle out to Wolwerivier, depending on how urgent the call is. He said another problem is that they don't always have enough vehicles to send out, so they usually have to wait until one is available.

"At least after our visit on Saturday they (the police) said they were willing to meet with the leaders from Wolwerivier to discuss their issues. They said they don't have the resources to put a mobile station closer," she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  service delivery

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.