Cape Town - “It’s not that we don’t want blacks here - it’s that we have enough problems here with just us coloureds.”
This was how Reygana Khatieb, mother and resident of Blackheath, on Tuesday described her community’s concerns about a possible influx of evicted residents from Nomzamo to Sanral land in the centre of their community.
A 200m-wide road reserve runs north-south through the Blackheath suburbs of Dennemeer and Gaylee, flanked by established residential areas on its western and eastern sides.
Khatieb was among about 20 to 30 residents protesting with placards on a roadside berm, on which two bonfires burned.
“People say we mustn’t say it, but it’s the truth!” she told the Cape Argus.
“We coloured people already have enough of those elements,” she said.
Her view that the group of about 800 evictees comprised “snaakse (strange) elements” was widely shared by fellow residents.
“My mother walks here early every morning. What will she do?” exclaimed a woman alongside.
“And my child won’t be able to walk here!” asserted another.
Among a nearby group of men, talk was of “property prices falling”.
“These houses are worth R450 000 to R750 000. If they build an informal settlement here the bank will say our houses are worth half that,” said Bertus van Dalen.
“Just like what happened in Blue Downs. Most people have put their life’s investment into their houses...
And then there are the people who have been waiting for a long time for this land,“ said another protester.
“And now this land goes to them!”