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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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Tenants demand withdrawal of eviction notices, apology from City of Cape Town

The tenants from areas such as Manenberg, Macassar and Bishop Lavis received notices to vacate the units by the end of July. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The tenants from areas such as Manenberg, Macassar and Bishop Lavis received notices to vacate the units by the end of July. File Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 2, 2022

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Cape Town - Tenants renting at the City’s community residential units across the metro who received eviction letters for illegal occupation have demanded the withdrawal of the notices and an apology.

The tenants from areas such as Manenberg, Macassar and Bishop Lavis received notices to vacate the units by the end of July.

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The City describes an illegal occupant as any person who, with its rental housing stock, is not a family member listed on the tenant’s family form and has moved into a vacant dwelling without authorisation, forced the tenant out of his/her dwelling, or has been left behind by a vacating tenant or when the tenant died. The City said a total of 285 notices were issued.

Tjatjies Samekoms administrator Gatto (formerly Mario Wanza) said residents were demanding the City withdraw the notices served and apologise for violating them when they were issued.

“What the City told us in the meeting is that the people violated its housing allocation policy, a 50-page document which when we asked for clarity were told that they wanted to regulate tenancy.

“We want an apology from the City for the way they are treating us. We are indigenous people whose land was dispossessed and culture destroyed.

“We are meeting again with the City in which discussions around overcrowding, current living conditions and lack of access to housing and land would take the centre stage, instead of constantly pointing fingers at residents,” he said.

Bishop Lavis Action Community spokesperson Amanda Davids said a meeting was scheduled this evening with some of the residents who received notices.

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“The way they handed over the letters was pure intimidation tactics with law enforcement. They are intimidating old people who have been living in these properties for a very long time. Why don't they evict the drug lords?

“We will not allow them to throw families out without any alternative accommodation,” Davids said.

GOOD Party councillor Suzette Little said for years the management of the available rental stock had been left to deteriorate with the City allowing the properties to be occupied with little intervention. Little said the City should first implement its policy and ensure those living in these units understood the rules and implications.

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She said if the City was able to employ service providers to collect rent, it should have employed a service provider to register the people living in their rental stock.

Human Settlements Mayco member Malusi Booi said the City has found many residents who were unlawfully occupying units were either not registered on the City’s housing needs register or had recent application dates.

He said the notice to vacate the unit was the last resort and was only served once all options has been explored and applied.

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