The community are at their wits’ end as shack lords hone-in on vacant land to erect informal homes which they rent out.
Since Friday, a sprawling shack settlement from Wiggins Road to the top of Blinkbonnie Road has spread to the roadside on Buckingham Road. Community leaders and civic groups, who would not be named because they have been intimidated several times by often violent shack lords, said from the outset that nothing was done to curb the settlement, which had grown from 35 shacks to more than 400.
A 63-year-old resident said she had lived in the area for 22 years and wanted to sell her home to move away from the intimidation of the nearby shack dwellers, but could not due to the depreciating value of her property.
“I planned to sell up and move from here, but how can my three-bedroom home be valued at R300 000?’’ she asked. The retired nurse said she could not sleep, having to deal with the sound of hammering and moving of building materials for shack building. “Just this morning we woke up and found even more shacks built.”