The families who were evicted from the Klein Akker farm near Wallacedene last Monday. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
The families who were evicted from the Klein Akker farm near Wallacedene last Monday. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Intervention welcomed for 300 evictees to reside on Stellenbosch state farm

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Aug 27, 2019

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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

a week. 

Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha

yesterday announced that the department would house the displaced families, from 93 households, on a state farm

near Stellenbosch. 

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

property.

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

human rights. 

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

sought. 

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

government’s intervention. 

“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." 

Cape Times

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