Sowetan: Call on city to stop evictions

Call on city to stop evictions

28 Sep 2011 | Moses Mackay

This follows a violent clash between 2000 backyard dwellers and the police after they had occupied land owned by the city in Kraaifontein on Sunday.

Police repelled the bid and drove the homeless people off a piece of land along Old Paarl road, arresting eight people.

Police and members of the city’s anti-land invasion unit took down structures erected illegally on Saturday.

The backyard dwellers, from Bloekombos and Wallacedene in Kraaifontein, also occupied two other pieces of land along Maroela Road.

Plot markings and building materials were visible, but no structures had been put up.

Yesterday, Abahlali baseMjondolo provincial chairman Mzonke Poni condemned the City of Cape Town’s actions against land occupiers in Kraaifontein.

“The city cannot wage war on the poor and then say it wants to negotiate with us,” he said.

“If the city is serious about negotiations it must first renounce violence.”

Khayelitsha resident and community leader Poni said residents wanted the city to declare a moratorium on all evictions in Cape Town.

“The struggles and survival strategies of the poor must be actively supported, Poni said.

“It is the responsibility of the city to provide houses for the poor.

“For as long as people do not have houses it is essential that the occupation of unused land be supported by the city.”

Poni also dismissed claims by the city that people who occupied land in Kraaifontein wanted to jump the housing waiting list.

He rejected the city’s housing waiting list, saying it was totally dysfunctional.

“It has been used as a political tool by the city to incite division between black Africans and coloureds in Western Cape,” he said.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said it was not possible to provide housing for everyone with the budget from the national government.

De Lille also said people must understand that many people had been on the waiting list since the 1980s.