Few evictees on housing database

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Lwandle residents scramble under razor wire to retrieve their belongings after they were evicted by force on Monday. Picture: Cindy Waxa

Cape Town - Only 73 people evicted from Lwandle, Cape Town, last month are legally on the city's housing database, mayor Patricia de Lille said on Tuesday.

“Of these 73, most are relatively new entrants to the list,” she told reporters in Cape Town.

Three had already received state-subsidised housing.

De Lille said there were over 15 000 people on the housing database in the Helderberg region, 2300 of which were on the database before residents from Lwandle and Nomzamo.

“The city of Cape Town is firmly of the view that in dealing with this matter going forward, we need to pay due consideration to the rights of those people who are legally on the housing database and patiently waiting their turn.”

On June 2 and 3, about 200 illegally-erected shacks were burnt and demolished near Strand after the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), which owns the land, was granted a court order authorising the evictions.

De Lille said many people evicted from the land were originally backyarders in neighbouring formal areas.

It had been alleged that the Ses'Khona's People's Rights Movement encouraged people to invade the land, “selling” plots to the evictees for up to R2 500.

A formal inquiry into the removal of 849 families from the land, set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, began on Monday.

De Lille's comments formed part of a written submission to the inquiry to ensure it was “properly informed” on the city's perspective.

She said she had written to Sisulu three times to request clarity on the powers she had used to establish the inquiry.

“We have further stated that in terms of the... Constitution and Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, we would have expected to have been consulted on the terms of reference and composition of the inquiry.”

De Lille said the city had yet to receive a response and had thus, reserving all rights, decided not to provide oral testimony to the inquiry later on Tuesday.

On Monday, the inquiry heard that the evictees would be moved back to the land they were evicted from.

Housing Development Agency programme manager Bosco Khoza told the inquiry that 234 shacks were dismantled and the community contended that 849 families were affected.

“We've also done our preliminary assessment of... the most accurate number. We think it's more plausible to talk about 402

structures,” Khoza said on Monday.

The inquiry heard that about 200 informal corrugated iron structures with concrete floors were being erected to house residents on the original piece of ground.

Sanitation and other basic services were also being provided.

De Lille said it should be investigated why the number of people affected had increased so dramatically.

Sapa


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