Next to family helpless as a sheriff tears the dwelling



File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Near resident Dumisani Mgcina could only stand and watch the court sheriff lead the group with a hammer and springs to tear her dwelling yesterday.

He and 17 other families refused to move from the land in the informal settlement of Joe Word in Langa to make way for the next phase of N2 Gateway housing development.

The Human Settlement Department turned to the Western Cape High Court, which ruled that these families would be released after the postponement of the project from 2013.

Mgcina said he was not informed that the eviction was going on and the structure was also his business.

"I've been here since 2003 and I could not find a job, so I started selling fruit, vegetables, and tokens to make a living. That's very sad because they said they were moving us to Delft and I do not know what's going on. I'll have to start working again or find a job, "he said.

Residents have relocated some of their homes because their structures have been destroyed.

Mabelithemba Zabezola stated that she and her three children lived in the structure and also used her to sell herb meat.

A spokesman for the provincial ministry of human settlements, Ntomboxolo Makhoba-Somdaka, said the residents refused to move to a temporary relocation site in Delft and were financially burdened by the government and delaying the acceleration of housing provision.

She said that the process of building the remaining 88 structures from Phase 3A will continue immediately and is expected to be completed by March 2019.

She said the project was launched in 2004 to provide 22,000 homes to accommodate people living in huts and gardens along the N2 corridor.

The department has approved the financing of 2,886 houses that will be built in Joe Word. To date, 1 664 houses have been completed and handed over to the beneficiaries.

"Since 2013, we have experienced a number of challenges in completing the project, because some residents have refused to move and blocked the way for construction," she said.


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