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

2017-11-01 14:05
Carmina Vieira in front of her home for 26 years in Roodebloem Mansions, Woodstock. (Supplied: Reclaim the City)

Carmina Vieira in front of her home for 26 years in Roodebloem Mansions, Woodstock. (Supplied: Reclaim the City)

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Cape Town – After calling Roodebloem Mansions home for more than a quarter of a century, Carmina Vieira and her family have been forced to move to the abandoned Woodstock Hospital, following their eviction on Wednesday morning.

Standing outside the building she has called home for 26 years, Vieira wept as she watched five police officers carry her belongings into the street. 

"They chucked me out like a dog," she said as she cried in a video clip which activist organisation Reclaim the City shared on Facebook. 

"I have nowhere to go," she added.

Vieira, her husband Damio and her two children were the only people left in the building after landlord Noor Parker decided to renovate the property.

She was threatened with eviction last week already, but persuaded Parker's daughter to delay taking action until she could find alternative accommodation.

The family was expected to release a statement on Thursday. 

Shaneeka Abdullah of Reclaim the City told News24 that the organisation was helping Vieira to temporarily relocate to the hospital, which the organisation has been occupying since August. 

"This is typical of how gentrification is tearing up communities in Woodstock and Salt River," Abdullah said.

The organisation is to meet City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for Transport and Urban Development Brett Herron on Wednesday afternoon to discuss their concerns. 

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Carmina Vieira's belongings outside the Roodebloem Mansions after she was evicted. (Supplied : Reclaim the City)

Business development will not be delayed

Vieira's eviction is the most recent as gentrification drives up property prices and rentals in and around the Cape Town CBD. 

Short-term rentals through Airbnb, which many owners have been using to cover bond payments, have been blamed for a property price surge.

Western Cape Economic Development MEC Alan Winde previously said the "platform will not be slowed down in Cape Town". 

"In our province, we will not tolerate businesses being slowed down by unnecessary regulations," Winde said during his provincial budget briefing in March. 

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Reclaim the City activists gather in front Carmina Vieira's home in Woodstock on Wednesday morning. (Supplied: Reclaim the City)

In September, the City of Cape Town announced its intention to redevelop six City-owned properties to create up to 4 000 low-income housing opportunities. 

Herron has also launched a similar project to redevelop land below freeways in the CBD for low-income housing.

But Abdullah has vowed that Reclaim the City would not allow gentrification to be left unaddressed. 

She believes the City has not done enough to address the plight of those affected by gentrification.

"We need to build an inclusive city, not create suburbs for a select few," she said.

Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk said that their members only assisted the sheriff of the court in executing the eviction, and were not directly involved.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing

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