| CAPE TOWN

City removes 182 shacks in Khayelitsha

By

Some residents squeezed new structures among existing homes in Msindweni informal settlement

Photo of shacks
Scores of people occupied vacant land and built shacks in Msindweni informal settlement beside Japhata Masemola Road in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. Photo: Vincent Lali
By

Scores of people occupied vacant land and built shacks in Msindweni informal settlement beside Japhata Masemola Road in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, on Friday.

On Saturday, 182 of these newly-erected structures were removed according to Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements Councillor Xanthea Limberg. “The City has a court order in place and laid a charge of trespassing … The site is being monitored,” she said.

Some residents had squeezed new shacks among existing ones in the informal settlement.

Msindweni community leader Thenjiswa Mdedelwa described the scene: “Trucks and bakkies carrying building materials have been transporting the residents to the land since Wednesday.”

She said the occupiers had come from various informal settlements, including Msindweni, Ndlovini and Enkanini.

Resident Zolile Swartbooi, who is a soccer coach for local youth, clashed with the new arrivals and tried to dissuade them from erecting their shacks on the soccer field. “I have worked hard to level and make the field playable,” he told the land occupiers. “Don’t build shacks here.”

Mayenzeke Msuthu, who was there to occupy land, said, “For me, residents who want a place to stay are more important than kids who play sport.”

Msuthu said he has been staying with his wife and four kids, aged 4, 13, 18 and 21, in a dilapidated shack in Enkanini informal settlement. The owner of the shack wants to give it to his own children.

Mzwandile Landelo, who has been living in a backyard shack with his wife and three kids, aged 8, 12 and 18, said: “I work for a construction company which lays me off on certain days or makes me work short time. I cannot afford to pay R350 for rent and R150 for electricity [every month].”

Siyabulela Mzothani, who has stayed in a backyard shack in Mkhaza since 2014, said, “I can’t rent someone else’s place for the rest of my life. Now, I have set up my own shack here because I want to have my own electricity box, my own toilet and my own place.”

© 2018 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.

TOPICS:  Housing