Johannesburg - Residents of the Jabulani Views housing complex in Jabulani, Soweto, were evicted on Wednesday afternoon for failing to pay their rent.
Their belongings were left in the nearby veld.
The block of flats is owned by the Madulammoho Housing Association, which aims to provide affordable housing for low-income earners.
Thulani Nhlapo, the deputy chairman of the Jabulani Views residents' committee, said the eviction was illegal because they were in talks with the association.
“We have been trying to talk to Madulammoho since 2013 about some of the problems we have in these units,” he said.
“We appeared before the Gauteng Housing Tribunal to try to sort out the issues, but the association went to court to get an interdict, saying we want to vandalise this place, but as you can see, it’s neat.”
Nhlapo said the eviction took residents by surprise because they were under the impression that the process had been stopped because the Gauteng Human Settlements Department had helped them get legal representation in order to find another solution.
Resident Mango Ngakame said she didn't know where she and her family would go.
“I live with my husband and three children. My daughter Lesego has Down syndrome and I am very worried about what’s going to happen when she comes home from school.”
Witness Mokoena, another resident, said she was lucky because she had a chance to gather her belongings before the Red Ants arrived.
She had no idea where to go with her three children and had no idea where they would sleep.
The housing association’s chief executive, Renier Erasmus, said the eviction was legal and that all the correct channels, including a two-year-long mediation process with the residents, had been followed.
“Some of these tenants have been on a rental boycott for longer than 12 months and owe up to R25 000,” Erasmus said.