The group had received eviction letters from their landlord in March this year, and been told to vacate the property within one month. On Thursday, their case was heard at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.
The residents' Legal Aid lawyer, Mark Owen, said: “We are not opposing the eviction. But we are saying if the tenants do get evicted, when would be a just date? And we are requesting council to step in to provide temporary accommodation.”
The landlord’s representative, Ahmed Ebrahim, said the tenants were being evicted for non-payment, and his client could not maintain the building if the tenants were not paying.
Reclaim The City’s Desire Link said about 50 people would be affected by the eviction.
“I am overwhelmed by the thought of leaving this place. I have lived in Woodstock for 50 years. We have been maintaining the building all these years, only seeing the landlord once a year when it is time for our rent to increase,”said Link.
Residents expressed concern and fear of possible relocation to Blikkiesdorp or Wolwerivier.
Albert Street resident and father-of-four Ivan Marcus said: “I am unhappy about this whole matter. I have been living here for 32 years. We know we have to go one of these days, but we do not know what the City has in store for us.”
Tenants said that after a fire in June 2014, where part of the building was burnt down, a verbal agreement was reached with the landlord to use their rent to fix the building.