Lwandle evictees fear for their kidsComment on this story
Cape Town - Residents living in a community hall for almost two months after being evicted from their homes in Lwandle, near Strand, have complained that their young children are being exposed to “disruptive” behaviour.
There are complaints that some youths are openly abusing alcohol in the Nomzamo Community Hall.
Residents were given the temporary shelter days after being evicted last month.
The Lwandle inquiry into the evictions resumes today. The inquiry was set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to investigate the circumstances under which the eviction took place.
The scope of the inquiry includes the history of evictions in the Zola informal settlements and factors leading up to the court application by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) to evict residents from its land.
Some of the almost 900 residents say the youths drink excessively, party late at night then fight with one another.
Resident Xoliswa Masakala said: “Some of these youngsters have been drinking in the hall and using the opportunity to drink and go crazy. There is no reason for them to drink like this. There are children here and for them to be exposed to this sort of behaviour is not good.”
Ward councillor Mbuyiselo Matha said the issue of youths drinking in the hall had been addressed.
“This issue came to my attention and we have spoken to the youths who were fighting and drinking inside the hall. This is a hall and meant for the people who were evicted, not for any other people who are disruptive,” he said.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s spokeswoman, Pierrinne Leukes, said the the hall had meant to be a “short-term solution”.
“Almost immediately after the evictions, the City of Cape Town provided the community hall as temporary shelter. This was therefore just intended to be a short-term solution while discussions took place between the city, provincial and national government. We would like to encourage those staying in the hall to go back to the completed structures as soon as possible and to report any illegal activities taking place in the hall to the police.”
Meanwhile, work on the temporary shelters to house the 849 residents is near completion. Matha said it was still unclear when the residents would move back to their homes.
“I know there were problems with the standpipes and also some of the structures are still being built. It is still unclear how long people will have to live in the hall, but I hope it is soon because this can’t continue forever,” he said.
Statements by residents were collected last week by the commission.
Testimonies from Sanral, various NGOs and the Sheriff of the High Court were heard earlier this month. The inquiry has until Tuesday to complete its work.