New round of evictions in Wolwerivier

On [9 March], a number of people (members of the community say more than 20 families) were evicted by City of Cape Town law enforcement officers from houses in Wolwerivier, the City’s housing project about 30km from the Cape Town CBD.

Warning notices were placed on the houses stating that these were “Emergency Housing Units” only to be occupied by “approved beneficiaries”. After belongings were removed, padlocks were put on the doors. Residents complained that their belongings and electronic goods were damaged. But as soon as law enforcement officers left, the locks were broken and residents started carrying their furniture back in. Residents claim that this is not the first time this has happened.

One of the people evicted, Morne Goodman, said he had been living in the house with his son and a friend for six months. According to Goodman, law enforcement officers broke the windows the last time he was evicted from the same house. Goodman said that although he had lived in the Wolwerivier area for 32 years, he did not get a house. Jackson Mgudlwa, a resident since 2015, said that left unoccupied, the vacant houses were vandalised, broken into, and the aluminium windows and the doors stolen.

Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, said that there were 30 vacant units and they were earmarked for emergency housing. Limberg said it appeared that “almost half of the illegal occupants already have a unit in the City-owned Wolwerivier developmen”. “It cannot be, with the housing need, that some are occupying two units, while others wait for an opportunity … The City urges the illegal occupants in the other units to vacate immediately,” said Limberg.

This article was published by, and appeared first on, on 9 March 2017.

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