A Manenberg family facing eviction by the City of Cape Town for illegally moving into a Pam Walk house three years ago says there has been no improvement in their situation since the City’s visit two weeks ago (“Family faces eviction”, People’s Post, 23 January). The City’s home inspection came two days after People’s Post published the family’s story. The eviction order is set to continue against Firdaus Benn and her three children, two of whom suffer from epilepsy and autism.
Following the final investigations by the City, Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management, says: “The City has the responsibility to protect its assets and follow due process. The Benn family were found in occupation after the City’s former tenant had vacated the rental unit. They were subsequently informed that they don’t qualify for the tenancy in terms of Council’s Unlawful Occupation of Council Rental Stock Policy and will have to vacate,” he says.
“As the Benn family failed to vacate as instructed, a court order was obtained for their eviction from the City’s rental unit. The court ordered the family to vacate the rental unit on or before 31 May last year, which they failed to do. As a result, the sheriff of the court will now proceed with the eviction process. Eviction is always regarded as an avenue of last resort.”
Meanwhile Benn received a letter of assistance from Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital indicating the importance of moving her children into a safer environment. The letter pleads with the public to assist the family with their current housing issue for the sake of the children’s health.
“This letter is a bit of encouragement to me and I hope that there are people out there who can assist us in this regard,” says Benn.