DAILY NEWS / 4 OCTOBER 2017, 2:00PM / MPHATHI NXUMALO
This was because of the demolition of their shacks over the past four days, resulting in violent clashes that have left people injured.
Zinhle Ngubane is one of the informal settlement residents who is determined to stay and fight.
“We are tired of being harassed. We will fight for our places no matter what happens. We are prepared to die for our places,” Ngubane said.
This comes as a group of about 40 residents armed themselves with slingshots, sticks, knobkieries and shields made out of zinc.
They were singing, dancing and waiting in anticipation for the eThekwini Municipality’s land invasion unit to arrive.
The 30-year-old mother of two said she was part of a court order that was supposed to protect about 35 families from having their homes demolished.
“Everyday we get chased like we are dogs. Until when will we live this life? The municipality does not care about us,” Ngubane said.
Some residents said they had resolved to keep fighting until they died.
Others said they had lost their jobs because they had to stay at the settlement to protect their homes.
The latest evictions and destruction of shacks comes after a series of confrontations between the city and shack dwellers.
Shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo obtained a court order earlier this year preventing the city from demolishing the shacks of about 35 families.
With the recent demolitions, some of those who were covered by the court order said their homes had been demolished while others had been kicked out of their homes.
Tozi Mthethwa, the municipality’s communications head, said: “Land is a scarce resource and the municipality has an obligation to protect and preserve land with the purpose of utilising it to unlock future development opportunities for the growth and sustainability of our city.”
She said the city had engaged various stakeholders like academics, civil society and police to try to find solutions.
“We are a caring municipality but we cannot allow lawlessness to prevail. In as much as we recognise and protect human rights we also have an obligation to protect community interests,” Mthethwa said.
She encouraged members of the public to report land invasions to the city.