Western Cape SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen visited the community of Hangberg to mediate the way forward on housing issues between residents and City officials.    Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
 Western Cape SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen visited the community of Hangberg to mediate the way forward on housing issues between residents and City officials. Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Temporary housing site offered to Hangberg family inhumane - SAHRC

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jul 1, 2020

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Cape Town - A temporary housing site the City offered a family whose illegal structure was demolished in Hangberg in Hout Bay was considered inhumane following an inspection by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Tuesday.

The piece of land is on the sand dunes of Hout Bay. During and inspection it was found that the specified land had already been earmarked for another resident living in the community and who was waiting for building materials.

SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen said: “There are portable toilets surrounding the structures that are below people’s dignity. It is also concerning that this site has already been earmarked for other people.”

Hangberg community representative Lee Smith said: “The material provided for these temporary housing structures is very unstable. In less than a month the roofs have blown off the structures of the people currently staying here. The material used creates so much cold inside the homes.”

Smith said they understood that this was a win for the family from a legal standpoint, however for the family to stay there was a very different case. People went to live there because they didn’t have a choice, but they still refused to accept what the City deemed humane and temporary.

Hangberg resident of 29 years Ihlaam Isaacs said: “If housing is not provided to the community then they are just going to provide it themselves. The temporary site does not even have water and electricity.

“If the amount of children and families in the community are compared to the amount of houses, it just doesn’t add up. If land can just be provided for us to build ourselves, we will be satisfied. The people have the skills to build on their own,” she said.

The City was unable to give a comment in time on Tuesday but said it would respond today.

@Sukainaish

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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