Saturday , June 19 2021

Long families helpless as the sheriff tears down homes



File Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Langa's resident Dumisani Mgcina could only stand and watch when the court sheriff led a group equipped with hammer and crows tore down their home yesterday.

He and 17 other families had refused to move from a land in Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa to create room for the next phase of residential development N2 Gateway.

The Human Settlement Department had turned to the West Coast High Court, ruling that these families would be sentenced after delaying the project since 2013.

Mgcina said he was not informed that the exclusion would take place, and the structure was also his business.

"I've been here since 2003 and I could not find work so I started selling fruit, vegetables and chips to serve. This is very sad because they said they moved to Delft and I do not know what to expect us there. I have to start over or find work, he says.

The residents had moved some of their belongings from their homes because their structures were destroyed.

Mabelithemba Zabezola said that she and her three children lived in a structure and also used it to drive their business to sell braai meat.

Provincial Department of Human Settlement spokesman Ntomboxolo Makhoba-Somdaka said residents refused to move to Delft temporary relocation area (TRA) and had been a financial burden for the government and a delay in accelerating housing delivery.

She said that the process of building the remaining 88 structures, of phase 3A, would go straight and expected to be completed in March 2019.

She said the project was launched in 2004, with the goal of providing 22,000 houses to accommodate people living in shacks and back yards along the N2 corridor.

The department approved funding for 2,886 houses to be built in Joe Slovo. So far, 1 664 houses have been completed and handed over to recipients.

"Since 2013, we have experienced a number of challenges in completing the project, as some residents refused to move and block the way of construction," she said.


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