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Skandaalkamp removal outcry

Cape Town-150709-Andile and Mbongeni Bhayi playing near shacks that were demolished from the Skandaalkamp informal settlement near Vissershoek, residents were moved to Wolwerivier-Picture by BHEKI RADEBE: Reporter ASANDA SOKANYILE

Cape Town-150709-Andile and Mbongeni Bhayi playing near shacks that were demolished from the Skandaalkamp informal settlement near Vissershoek, residents were moved to Wolwerivier-Picture by BHEKI RADEBE: Reporter ASANDA SOKANYILE

Published Jul 12, 2015

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Cape Town - Residents moved from their rundown homes on a landfill site near Vissershok because the city declared them unsafe, say they were forced to leave or be left without shelter.

They say that they are unhappy with the temporary accommodation they are in because they now have no access to food.

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Previously they had scavenged at the rubbish dump for food and earned money from recycling waste.

But the city says this is untrue and that all the families were eager to move to temporary homes.

The row centres on the residents of Skandaalkamp, an informal settlement situated on a landfill site.

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Last Friday the city started to move the residents – and continued to do so during the week – to Wolwe-rivier, 30km from the city.

The site has rows of beige and green corrugated structures, flat gravel roads and no vegetation.

Many residents of Skandaalkamp are unemployed and survive by searching for food in the rubbish dump.

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Wwhen they are more fortunate, contractors pick them up for odd jobs.

The residents said they would now have a hard time feeding their families because the landfill was too far for them to walk to every day.

They wake up at dawn each day to rummage through the rubbish to salvage what they can to recycle to earn money to help feed their families.

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This week resident Lenox Mpengu watched as the last of his belongings was loaded on to a truck to be transported to his temporary home.

He said:“ I do not know how we will survive at our new home. We will make our way to the landfill at the crack of dawn just so we can try to eat.”

“This move also will cripple our ability to ‘skarrel’ (scavenge) for food and earn money from contractors who frequently visit the area looking for labourers,” Mpengu said.

“Many people from this community don’t have jobs but we at least knew we would have a plate of food to eat .”

Mpengu said residents were not given a choice to move from Skandaalkamp as city officials had told them whoever did not leave would be forcibly removed from the site.

“Early last year city officials came here and called everyone to a meeting.

“They told us that we were going to be moved to temporary homes in Wolwerivier which are open-plan structures with a small bathroom.

“They told us if we didn’t want to move to the new area then we had to find ourselves a new place to stay but the city would not assist us. Those who did not move would be forcibly removed from the site because the city has run out of land for dumping,” Mpengu said.

Another resident, Slovas Bhungane, complained that the homes were too small and they had been told they may not build on to the structures.

“We had huge homes there (Skandaalkamp) and we could accommodate families of up to 10 people. The one room, open plan structures, are not even suitable to house a family of four.

“We also had back-yarders and we have been told to accommodate them in our homes as well,” he said.

But human settlements mayco member Benedicta van Minnen said residents were able to expand the structures and denied that residents had not wanted to move to the new site – all 273 families had been eager to do so .

“The residents who were meant to be relocated now have not refused to relocate to Wolwerivier.

“After extensive negotiations all of the families of Skandaalkamp and Rooidakke informal settlements were relocated last weekend and they were eager to do so,” she said.

“They will now receive services and have been moved from their dangerous and dilapidated structures to safe and dry structures with room to expand according to their needs.”

Weekend Argus

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