Eviction looms for SAPS members and families living in Wynberg barracks
Cape Town - SA Police Services members and their families residing at a police barracks in Wynberg are not happy about their looming eviction.
The barracks situated in Wynberg provides a safe haven for staff and their families.
Tina Mnqwazi, the wife of one of the police officers, said they have been living in the barracks for three years.
“Before coming to live here three years ago we were living in Khayelitsha but we had to leave, because my husband was being targeted by thugs,” she said.
She said the staff living in the barracks are there for different reasons. Some because they are injured, some because they are being threatened in the communities they lived in before and had to look for a safer place.
Mnqwazi said they had to apply in order for them to get a place in the barracks and the applications need to be renewed every three years.
She said since their lease was coming to an end in December they had to apply for a new one, but the application was unsuccessful.
“We tried to find out why our application was unsuccessful with no luck, and earlier this month we were given eviction notices, which states we must be out by May 31,” she said.
She said the family was told that if they are not out by the end this date, they would be forcefully removed.
Mnqwazi said they have nowhere to go and if they have to go back to where they came from, their lives would still be in danger.
“The treatment we are getting is not fair; most families have been here for a very long time and where are they expected to go?” she asked.
A police sergeant, who did not want to be named, said she used to live in Khayelitsha before moving to the barracks.
“I had to move because my life and my family were threatened, thugs wanted my work firearm to a point where my car was even shot at,” she said.
She said she spoke to her superiors about her situation and was told to apply for a place in the barracks.
She said she could not afford to buy her own home in another place.
“I don’t know where I will go if we are indeed removed from here after receiving the notice, because my financial state doesn’t allow me to buy my own home somewhere safe,” she said.
The single mother said her child goes to school close to where they live and if they are to leave she will find it hard to get her a new school and it will also disrupt the child.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure spokesperson, Lunga Mahlangu, said the property in question is state-owned. It is allocated to SAPS, therefore it is not leased as such there is no eviction by a landlord.
He said the issue is an internal process of SAPS.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said the evictions are in their Housing Policy, which is a transparent and fair process where tenants of police accommodation are rotated on a three-year basis.
He added that it is an internal affair and is treated as such.