'Law enforcement can destroy my building materials, but I will build my shack again and stay here'

2018-10-12 08:21
Nthuseng Mzaci, centre, said she frantically moved her cupboard, TV and dishes when she saw officials arrive. (Vincent Lali, GroundUp)

Nthuseng Mzaci, centre, said she frantically moved her cupboard, TV and dishes when she saw officials arrive. (Vincent Lali, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Although the City of Cape Town demolished as many as 600 shacks in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein early last week, the land was once again crowded with shacks by Saturday. City officials demolished shacks again this week, reports GroundUp.

"Law enforcement can shoot me and destroy my building materials, but I will build my shack again and stay here," land occupier Bukiwe Bhatyo said.

Nthuseng Mzaci said the constant demolitions have affected her two children.

"My kids [in Grades 1 and 5] quickly wake up at night when they hear someone hit a corrugated iron zinc … thinking that the officials are destroying their home," she said.

Nokulunga Koli quickly dismantled her own shack so that her building material would not get damaged, and Ntombovuyo Jola said she begged officials and started crying. They left her shack alone. She has two young children.

'We can't go back to our rented backyard shacks'

According to community leader David Faku, residents rebuilt their shacks because they had nowhere else to go.

"We can't go back to our rented backyard shacks because we are jobless and have no money to pay rent … If the City doesn't want us to stay here, it must tell us where we must go."

Faku lives with his four children, his sister, his wife and his sister-in-law.

Read: Wallacedene shack dwellers close down housing project

"The government says we must use the [social] grant to buy food and clothes for our kids and take them to school. The grant is not meant for paying rent [as backyarders]," he added.

After the officials destroyed shacks on Tuesday last week, land occupiers turned their anger on two families from Joostenbergvlakte.

"Residents tore down their fence and houses out of anger. They were outraged and disgusted to watch them stay comfortably while the City destroys their shacks … We hear that the City gave permission to the families to stay here. Why can't it do the same to us?" asked Faku.

'We lost everything'

On Wednesday, the space where the families relocated by the City from Joostenbergvlakte had been staying, was crowded with new shacks.

"We lost everything," said Jenny Badernhost, one of the Joostenbergvlakte family members. "The NGO that assisted us gave us a bit of food, but we don't want to stay at the NGO place."

Read more: Renewed effort to occupy land in Wallacedene

Badenhorst said she and her family now stay in an Opel Kadett in Kraaifontein.

"We are still shocked, but we will get through this," she said.

Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements Councillor Xanthea Limberg said: "The City has conducted numerous anti-land invasion operations on this land parcel, given the repeated attempted land invasions over the past months … The City has also obtained an interdict protecting this land parcel from illegal occupation."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing

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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.