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Protest over ’heartless’ manner in which elderly are being moved from Cape Flats old-age homes

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Eviction videos, Evictions, Protests
In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse
In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA) has been slated over the ’’heartless’’ manner in which it has gone about closing three old-age homes on the Cape Flats due to financial constraints brought on by the Covid-19 lockdown.

In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today, with only 50 people taking part due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Nerina Place has about 100 residents.

The protesters comprise residents from Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Heideveld.

The Nerina Place residents are due to be moved tomorrow and the protesters want it to be suspended with immediate effect. They are also calling for a thorough audit to be done of the CPOA’s books, urging the government to step in immediately.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

The CPOA said in a statement last month Nerina Place, Lilyhaven Place in Bonteheuwel and Oakhaven in Heideveld are being shut down. Despite subsidies from the Department of Social Development, the CPOA said it has accumulated losses amounting to R265 million in the past 10 years.

It added that ’’after long and intensive discussions between senior management and the board of directors, CPOA has decided it must close three of its five welfare homes’’.

Vanessa Adrianse, from Heideveldt Mothers For Justice, is incensed by the fact that there has been no consultation with the community regarding the old-age homes being closed down.

Adrianse believes it is tantamount to an “eviction’’. She says the community would have found a solution had they been consulted.

’’All the community organisations in Heideveld have partnered on this protest. Why must the elderly be moved during the heart of the Covid pandemic? The CPOA is heartless and there has been no consultation with the community organisations.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

’’Where are they taking these people? We haven’t been informed. If they are closing down because of a lack of funding, the CPOA could have come and spoken to us and we could have made a plan. We could have taken over and applied to government for assistance.

’’The old people are sitting on the stoep of the old-age home at the moment and pleading with us to prevent them from being evicted. Saying the elderly are being ’moved’ is just a nice way of saying they are being evicted, because if someone doesn’t want to go, then you force them.

’’Sometimes their families don’t care about them any more and then after so many years, they become each other’s family.

’’They don’t want to be moved. They are happy here. Some of them are not from Bishop Lavis and they get visits like once every two months. Now they are moving further away.

’’Surely they won’t have place for everyone in one place. If they are all going to one place, why move them from a place where they are comfortable.

“If there is enough funding to take them to another place, then why don’t they use the funds to keep them here.

“Other questions that need answering are about what will happen to the pension and income of the old people here. Why not use that pension to help sustain them?’’

There is also a concern that if they don’t rent out the rooms to people in the area when it closes down, gangsters will vandalise the building and people in the area won’t be safe.

“That is why we are protesting here today, to highlight all these issues,’’ said Adrianse.

Reprinted from IOL

Links added by SD Law

*Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers in Cape Town, and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or want to know the cost of eviction.

Further reading:

260 lockdown ‘land invasions’ and counting for City of Cape Town

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Evictions

The land invaders use graders to erect illegal structures.

The land invaders use graders to erect illegal structures.
  • There have been at least 260 incidents of alleged land invasions in Cape Town during the April to July lockdown period.
  • In addition to damage to roads and infrastructure, more than R1.3 billion of housing projects are under threat.
  • The provincial government is counting on the police and the SANDF to step up arrests of perpetrators.

The City of Cape Town has dealt with 260 incidents of alleged illegal land occupation between April and July’s lockdown, the Western Cape government said in a plea to the police and military for help to stave off “highly coordinated and sophisticated” incidents.

This comes as shacks are erected amid violent clashes with law enforcement authorities, and new settlements, with names such as “Covid Village”, emerge to reflect the complexities of the situation during the coronavirus pandemic.

One settlement sprung up on the path of the Diep River, near Dunoon, and during the recent heavy storms, the shacks were submerged in water.

A joint statement by MECs for Human Settlements, Tertius Simmers, Community Safety, Albert Fritz, and Local Government, Anton Bredell, said they are consulting provincially and with the City of Cape Town over the crisis.

A meeting scheduled between Fritz and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole for Tuesday is aimed at getting more help in coordinating the prevention of invasions and the arrests of perpetrators.

They also called on courts not to let those arrested off with a “slap on the wrist”.

When a naked Bulelani Qolani was dragged out of his Khayelitsha shack in June, it wasn’t the first eviction residents like him experienced — and it won’t be the last. But where must residents go?

In the latest attempts at occupying vacant land, there have been violent clashes between large groups of people and police in Kraaifontein.

At the weekend, a Metro Police officer was burnt when an incendiary device was thrown at the vehicle he was in. He doused the fire, but sustained injuries to his face and neck.

Injured

The City of Cape Town said at least 40 staffers had been injured in altercations.

Reports indicate that civilians are also being injured during these confrontations.

“I condemn the violent protest action surrounding many of the land invasions in the strongest terms,” said Fritz.

“The land invasions taking placing are highly coordinated and sophisticated in their execution, having already occupied large plots of land in areas such as Wallacedene, Bloekombos and Khayelitsha.

“In many cases, the land being occupied is already designated for services aimed at developing the communities and, therefore, undermines the community in which it takes place.

“It is completely unacceptable that infrastructure, such as roads and arterials, are being damaged by tire burning and that the safety and well-being of residents is further being infringed on by the stone throwing, petrol bombs and other violent and dangerous behaviour.

“It has become clear that those who are complicit and involved in these illegal events only have criminal intentions,” stated Simmers.

Bredell said the issue was widespread across the province.

The Western Cape government has indicated that it is also having problems handing houses over to beneficiaries as some people are preventing the occupation of the newly built houses.

The Disaster Management Act regulations prevent evictions during the period of the declared disaster, and also prohibits illegal land occupation.

We would like to win that land in Stellenbosch because it belongs to us – ‘Azania’ residents

However, Western Cape High Court Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe ruled in favour of Hout Bay’s Ginola Phillips, whose Wendy house in Hangberg was taken down. He had been evicted from a site he had built on.

Salie-Hlophe called the eviction “deplorable” and ordered that his goods be returned and that his home be rebuilt.

Reprinted from News 24 by Jenni Evans

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers, based in Cape Town and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

Further Reading:

Methodist Church preparing court order to remove refugees amid health, safety concerns

By | Eviction news

 A general view of refugees at the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square.

A general view of refugees at the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square. (Photo by Gallo Images/ Brenton Geach)

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa is in the process of bringing an eviction order against hundreds of refugees, who have been living in its Central Methodist Mission in Cape Town since last year, on the grounds of health and safety.”The grounds are what we’ve been saying all along – it’s been a health and safety risk from the beginning, which I mentioned when people were already there,” said Reverend Alan Storey.He added the safe space was no longer a safe space due to the risks, and the church would be defeating its original offer and intention – of safety – to let the group stay.Storey said the risk of Covid-19 had brought an additional sense of urgency, but they were not doing it just to clear out the church.Leadership dispute

He added there were children who have not been outside the church on Greenmarket Square since December 29, when a leadership dispute split the group in two – with one inside and another outside the church.

A note has also been put up outside the church recently by the group to ask tourists not to enter as they have usually done as Covid-19 measures are in place.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the declaration of a national state of disaster, and measures include limiting public gatherings to 100 people.

Religious institutions have announced the postponement of planned mass gatherings, and changed the way prayers are offered.

One of the leaders of the “inside” group at the Central Methodist Mission, JP Balous, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and his case was postponed to 30 March, according to Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

Balous was arrested for the alleged intimidation of SA Human Rights Commission commissioner Chris Nissen, and also on an unrelated assault case. During an appearance on 7 March pandemonium ensued during court proceedings.

Storey said he had spoken to the leader of the “inside” group, Aline Bukuru, to express his concern over the health and safety of the group, which includes at least 50 small children.

Fire hazard

“We forget that it [the cramped living conditions] is a complete fire hazard.”

The group originally camped out at the Waldorf Arcade where the UN High Commissioner for Refugee’s office is based to demand relocation to a third country, citing xenophobia.

They were removed by the police at the end of October last year who used water cannons and stun grenades. Thereafter, Storey offered them shelter as they wandered around Greenmarket Square in a daze with their luggage.

They have been told it is not possible as a group to be relocated, and must apply individually.

The “outside” group eventually decamped to a site opposite the Cape Town Central police station after being removed by law enforcement invoking by-laws against living and cooking on the pavements around the church.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has asked for feedback on what the department and City of Cape Town intend doing about the situation.

Storey said lawyers were still working on the application, and he did not have a court date yet.

In a church notice, also announcing there would be no services due to Covid-19, he wrote: “In closing, I have a great concern about the refugees in the CMM sanctuary…

“… They are attempting to practice frequent hand washing, etc. But the truth is the conditions inside the sanctuary are ripe for a virus of any sort to spread, let alone the highly contagious coronavirus. As a result, our legal processes are addressing this matter with increased urgency.”

Source: News24 (emphasis by SD Law*)

* SD Law is a Cape Town law firm of specialist eviction lawyers. Our eviction attorneys also help landlords and tenants in Johannesburg and Durban with the eviction process. Contact us today for legal help with evicting a tenant, or to defend a tenant from an illegal eviction.

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