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Court bid to stop evictions in Observatory delayed

File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Observatory informal settlement’s residents’ bid to finalise an interdict to prevent the City from “harassing and evicting” them was postponed for negotiations in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

It comes after the group alleged that over the past few months the City had sent law enforcement to harass and threaten them with evictions, making their lives even more difficult during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Singabalapha informal settlement, situated along Main Road in Observatory, consists of tents and shacks housing more than 150 people.

Community leader Barbara Vuza said that in April, the City tried to force them to “relocate” to the “concentration camp” it had built in Strandfontein, the same camp which has now been closed.

“Despite our homes making up the Singabalapha informal settlement, the City sent its law enforcement to fine us R300 to R1 000 for imaginary by-law contraventions that do not even apply to informal settlements.”

Vuza said that instead of helping the metro’s poor, the City has been at odds with many people and organisations which are trying to improve their living conditions.

“Singabalapha, by occupying housing and land in the suburbs, is a model for what the government calls ‘Integrated Human Settlements’.

“It’s clear that this City is always pushing the poor to the peripheries. It would rather go to the court and waste lots of money instead of working to build housing for the poor in the inner city.

“The City of Cape Town is fighting tooth and nail so that no poor black people will be accommodated in the CBD and the wealthy suburbs,” she said.

The City’s acting executive director for safety and security, Wayne le Roux, said: “The City of Cape Town cannot comment on this matter as the sub judice rule applies.”.

Reprinted from IOL by Siphokazi Vuso

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.

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