Intervention welcomed for 300 evictees to reside on Stellenbosch state farm
Cape Town – The Department of Agriculture, Land
Reform and Rural Development has
stepped in to provide accommodation
to 300 evicted Klein Akker residents
who have been living on the streets for
Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha
yesterday announced that the department would house the displaced families, from 93 households, on a state farm
In what was described as a cruel and
barbaric act, the 300 people, including pensioners, women and children,
were evicted after Odvest, the registered
owner of the land, obtained an eviction
order with intentions to develop the
land into an industrial or semi-industrial
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has since challenged the
eviction, charging that a failure by the
City to provide appropriate alternative
accommodation to the families, as
well as the way in which the eviction
was carried out by the property owner,
amounted to a violation of various
Skwatsha yesterday said he was
shocked to witness the “inhumane” conditions the evictees were living under for
the past week.
“As leaders we cannot just fold our
hands while people are living on the
streets. We have a responsibility to take
care of the people, especially at difficult
times like this one,” said Skwatsha.
As part of the national government’s
intervention, Skwatsha said state farm
Mesco, located just off Bottelary Road,
was available to accommodate the evictees while a permanent solution was
Ubuntu Rural Women and Youth
Movement spokesperson Wendy Pekeur
said the evictees were elated.
“The residents are very happy. The
farm has shelter where residents will
now have a roof over their heads.
"There is no electricity and water at the
moment but the department is working
on getting this sorted," she said.
SAHRC provincial commissioner
Andre Gaum said the commission supported the department’s decision.
“The access to education and the
interests of the children is of paramount
importance. If this is a better alternative
and the residents are happy with the
temporary solution, then that is great
news,” said Gaum.
Mayor Dan Plato welcomed the national
“This is very
welcomed as it cannot fall only to a
municipality to assist with the pressures
brought on by rapid urbanisation and
the acute need for accommodation."