Ten families living in the open after 35 households evicted in Nigel

2019-07-30 06:02
Matilda Peterson , who is a widow and 66, has been sleeping in the open after she was evicted from her home last week. “I shared many memories with my family living in that building. Now that we have been evicted everything seems meaningless,” she says. (Kimberly Mutandiro, GroundUp)

Matilda Peterson , who is a widow and 66, has been sleeping in the open after she was evicted from her home last week. “I shared many memories with my family living in that building. Now that we have been evicted everything seems meaningless,” she says. (Kimberly Mutandiro, GroundUp)

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

"I am so stressed and heartbroken. Since when has it become lawful to evict people who have nowhere to go?" asks Matilda Peterson, 66. "I am just a poor widow who has no one in the world and nowhere else to go."

Peterson and 34 other households were evicted from an old mine building behind the Home Affairs offices in Nigel, Gauteng, GroundUp reports.

It had been her home for 35 years, she said. Since the eviction on July 25, she has been sleeping on a mattress with only one small blanket to cover her. Ten evicted families are now living in the open.

The families said they were served with an eviction order. According to the eviction letter, the evictees had "failed to vacate the premises by November 30, 2018," as required by a previous order issued in October of that year.

But the residents were not expecting to be evicted as they had hired a lawyer to lodge an appeal against the eviction. For months, they have been putting together R600 a month to pay him.

GroundUp tried to reach the lawyer several times.

Nomvula Makubo said when they got the eviction notice "we went to the municipality seeking help".

"They said they would come and register our names for houses, but they are only coming now, and it's too late," Makubo added.

She is now living in the open with her two children, aged five and nine, adding she had registered for a house but when she went to check she was told she was not on the list.

Peterson said when she first came to the building it was a shop for miners and the man running the shop allowed her and her family to stay. She added they had cleaned up the place and came to love it as their home, even though it has no toilet and there is no tap water.

READ: Evicted families stuck in Paarl caravan park for a year 

As more people came, they subdivided the space into rooms.

Ward councillor Wollaston Labuschagne said: "It was a legal eviction."

Last week, Labuschagne added he would be issuing a statement. GroundUp had still not received a response at the time of publication.

Novula Makubo is now homeless. She is unemployed and survives by baking and selling scones.

"Where is our government when we are suffering like this?" asked Mazwi Kunene. He said he had been living in the building for more than 15 years. He survives by doing occasional gardening work in Nigel and earns about R600 a month.

Robert Gumbi from Tsakane and his wife, Lindiwe, said they had been living in the building for more than 10 years. He does gardening jobs and gets paid R60 a day.     

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

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

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  housing
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
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.