'I wish I had something my baby son could call a home'

2016-04-15 09:15

Cape Town – Having spent over half her life looking after families in Sea Point, all domestic worker Landezwa Magabela wants is to have a decent, private home there that she can call her own.

A space she does not have to share and somewhere to cook food.

Magabela holds onto these small wishes for her son. At 67, she knows she will not always be around.
But it is her 28-year-old son’s future that she cares about.

Landezwa was part of a peaceful protest for affordable housing in the city. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Magabela tried to maintain composure on Thursday afternoon as she explained her living conditions to News24.

She was part of a peaceful protest over affordable housing in front of the provincial government building. “There is no privacy. It’s like a lot of other rooms, nine, sharing one bathroom. I don’t want to talk about where you sleep,” she said.

Something to call home

“At least now at my age I wish I could have something that my baby son could call a home.”
Both lived in so-called domestic quarters of just seven square metres. Although far from perfect, it was close to her workplace. Living in Khayelitsha was not an option for her.

“So many domestic workers work there for families in Sea Point. You are like a grandchild to me,” she said to this reporter.

Her grandchildren had never slept over because space was limited.

Having moved from Alice in the Eastern Cape to Cape Town 40 years ago, Sea Point felt like home.

The provincial government has been taken to court to halt the transfer of a school site in Sea Point, which some feel could be better used for affordable housing.

Reclaim the city

The Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre filed papers in the Western Cape High Court on Monday over the former site of Tafelberg Remedial High School, on behalf of some workers in Sea Point and the Reclaim the City campaign.

They want an urgent interim interdict to halt the transfer of state land to the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School and for officials to explain why the decision was made to sell the property.

The applicants also want the court to review and set aside the provincial government’s decision.

On Thursday, around 50 people protested in front of the ‘open House’ structure in town.

They hung signs on the bright red house façade saying, “Stop the Sale” and “Reclaim the City”.

The public art piece was seen as “a tribute to the men and women who fought for freedom, dignity and a better South Africa”, according to the province’s website.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  land

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