Families evicted at Cape Town’s biggest social housing complex

0

About 50 members of the Red Ants security company, accompanied by police and private security, evicted residents at Steenvilla in Steenberg on Thursday.

When GroundUp’s reporter arrived on the scene one vehicle was burnt out and the gates at two of the entrances to the complex had been broken. A reporter from another publication was attacked earlier in the day.

The Red Ants, accompanied by security, moved from one complex to the next moving furniture into trucks. Residents watched and taunted them with threats as this happened. Some residents were seen breaking down and crying. “Don’t you see our tears? Don’t you feel our pain?” screamed one resident at members of the Red Ants. The furniture was then moved onto the lawns outside the complex.

Steenvilla is the largest social housing complex in Cape Town. It has over 700 units. The units are subsidised by the state, allowing the company that manages the block, Sohco, to charge rents that are below market rates. Rents at Steenvilla range from R1,000 to R3,150 per month.

An evictee, who wished to remain anonymous, said that “they [Sohco] are just creating problems”. The evictee stays with his aunt and 13-year-old daughter. He said this was not the first time he had faced eviction at Steenvilla. As a group of residents approached, the evictee became nervous and said that he did not want to speak to our reporter anymore. There has been a previous attempt to carry out evictions at Steenvilla but it had to be abandoned after the evictees resisted.

When it became clear the eviction was unstoppable, residents helped the evictees remove their furniture.

Heather Maxwell, the CEO of Sohco, told GroundUp that 31 eviction orders were being carried out on Thursday. She said that the majority of families being evicted were more than a year in arrears on their rent.

Ward councillor Sarita Peterson told GroundUp that this matter has been in court for over a year. Asked what arrangements for alternative accommodation had been made for the evictees, she said: “While one is sympathetic … there was room for them to come forward to make arrangements.” She said the matter was between Sohco and the tenants.

See also: Rent instead of owning: Is it a better model for low-income housing?

A car was burnt out earlier in the day.

 

By

This story first appeared on GroundUp

South Africa Today – South Africa News


 

© 2017 GroundUp. Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

Related Post

Another abalone bust, three arrested, Panorama Partnerships with our communities who provide valuable information to address crime in our province led to the arrest of three suspects for the illega...
Hermanus violence, policeman attacked robbed of pi... The situation in Zwelihle, Hermanus reached a volatile point last night, 19 July 2018, when one of our members was attacked and severely assaulted by ...
‘Operation Thunder,’ SAPS reinforce cr... Operation Thunder commenced on the 11th of May 2018. It involved the deployment of 267 personnel from the Public Order Policing environments nationall...
Counterfeit money and drugs recovered, Grassy Park On Wednesday 18 July 2018, at about 16:40 members stationed at Grassy Park Crime Prevention unit were busy with patrols in Klip Road, Grassy Park, whe...
Disclaimer: The views of authors published on South Africa Today are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of South Africa Today. By viewing, visiting, using, or interacting with SouthAfricaToday.net, you are agreeing to all the provisions of the Terms of Use Policy and the Privacy Policy.