Cape Town - 140714 - The Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, visited Lwandle in Strand to assess the progress on the construction of Emergency Houses for those residents who were evicted from SANRAL owned land. Reporter: Zodidi Dano Picture: David Ritchie (083 652 4951)

Cape Town - A mom and her newborn son were the first people to move back to the SA National Roads Ltd land from which she and 200 families were violently evicted six weeks ago.

On Monday, Lulama Ndevu, 33, and 1-week-old Nkosana Ndevu received a special visit from Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Sisulu brought gifts for the family including a gas stove, a gas heater, beds, a kettle and baby clothing.

Ndevu, her partner Soyiso Jekam, 39, and their two other children, Inako, 3, and 18-month-old Anda, were the first of at least 200 families to move in.

About 200 units measuring 8m by 3m have gone up on the site. Outside toilets had to be shared by different families.

After Sisulu inspected the units she said: “It is unfortunate that it has taken a long time till completion, especially seeing that this eviction happened in the worst time of the year. I’m happy with the size and express my gratitude to the Housing Development Agency that has taken responsibility for the buildings, and the City of Cape Town for being responsible for sanitation.”

Sisulu said that although she gave the Ndevu family beds, Lwandle residents should not expect the same. “This is a special case. This is a baby we are talking about, (he) cannot sleep on the floor.”

Ndevu gave birth to her son last Monday at Hottentots Holland Hospital in Somerset West. Although she and Jekam were delighted with their son, life with a newborn at the Nomzamo Community Hall, where more than 800 Lwandle evictees have been staying, was not ideal.

She said: “It was difficult living at the hall with a newborn. I struggled because the hall was very cold for a baby. There were lots of people all cooped up in one area, and bathing my son was hard to do.”

Ndevu was overjoyed when the minister handed her a bag of nappies. “We feel so free and at home. It’s like I am dreaming.”

Jekam said it was about time they were moved back in. “I am happy because the way we were living there at the hall was not good, most specially for my son. I would like to thank the minister for all she has done.”

Residents said they were pleased that things were starting to move.

Sbongiseni Jonisile said: “I’m very happy that the first family is in, that gives us hope that we too will be moving into our new homes. We were hurt by the way we were living at the hall, but we have hope.”

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Cape Argus