I was naked when officials burst into my shack

City of Cape Town demolishes shacks in Nkandla

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Photo of a woman sitting on a couch on open land
Ntombi Arosi was volunteering as a cook at Masibambane High School, when her sister phoned to tell her that her shack was being demolished by officials. Her building materials were confiscated. “I’m heart-broken. I don’t know where I will stay now,” she said. Photo: Vincent Lali

Ten shacks, which residents say were occupied, and one unoccupied shack were demolished by law enforcement officials in Nkandla informal settlement in Kraaifontein on Friday, according to Zukile Dyantyi of the Social Justice Coalition.

Siphokazi Ndengane said when officials burst into her shack she was stark naked and busy bathing. “I was shocked and embarrassed,” she said. “Now residents mock me about the incident.”

Ndengane said officials quickly retreated and left her alone.

Dyantyi said, “The residents screamed and asked the officials to allow them to move their belongings out first, but they paid no attention to their pleas.” Officials agreed however not to seize some shack owners’ building materials, he said.

Myekiso Lobothi said officials arrived as he was busy tidying up his shack. His shack was one of those demolished. He rebuilt it later on Friday. He said this was the ninth time he had done so since March.

He used to rent a backyard shack for R400 in section 16 before he moved to Nkandla in Bloekombos. He works on a part time basis for local builders. “I struggle to even buy myself food.”

Councillor Xanthea Limberg, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, said, “The City will continue to act to prevent the illegal occupation of land and will continue to direct available resources into new housing opportunities for those on the waiting list and the provision of services for existing settlements.”

TOPICS:  Housing Land

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