Cape Town - An enraged crowd of Macassar residents booed Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille when she addressed them on Thursday night.
Residents packed into the community hall and spilled out onto the street in the rain, desperate for answers as to when they will receive the houses they have been waiting for - and where the city plans to place hundreds of evicted Lwandle residents.
De Lille could barely speak over the shouting.
She said: “You must begin with those who have been on the waiting list the longest, and that’s what we are doing. Phone our office in the morning, give your ID number and we can tell you where you are on the list.”
But the furious residents found no comfort in De Lille’s visit, and said they would take to the streets in the morning.
“People are even more angry than they were before she came. She has just made it worse,” said Macassar resident Celeste Jacobs.
Saul Claassen, who has been a backyard dweller in Macassar for 10 years, said: “She didn’t give me right and proper answers. I’m very upset now.”
Meanwhile, in Lwandle, the frustration of being cooped up at the Nomzamo Hall for more than three weeks since their eviction from Sanral land led residents to fight over donated clothes on Thursday.
The orderly distribution of donated clothes quickly turned ugly when residents declined to wait their turn. Instead they ran up to the front table, where the clothes were displayed, and started grabbing items.
Some clothes were stuffed underneath people’s clothing, and some fell to the ground.
Noluthando Makiva, an elderly woman suffering from diabetes, said she lost a mattress in the fighting. Makiva said she slept on top of a blanket. “When the blankets came they all ran to the front and grabbed and fought over mattresses. I can’t run.”
Nomapeli Pupu refused to queue for the clothes. “I’d rather my children wear the same outfit at all times than fight over clothes.”
She said living in the hall was a constant battle for her and her children.
“This is abuse. How are we expected to spend a month living in these conditions when before the eviction we had homes, jobs and were at peace?”
More than 800 residents were supposed to move back to the SA Roads Agency (Sanral) land that they were evicted from. But residents said they would not move unless their belongings were returned.
The belongings were confiscated during the violent eviction this month.
Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement leader Andile Lili said residents would not move soon. He said people needed their beds and furniture.
“If Sanral, Human Settlements and other stakeholders can’t locate the belongings they need to get sponsors to supply people with beds. Where are they expected to sleep – on the floor? No.”