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Tuesday 9 October 2012

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Shack dwellers to hit the road

TAURIQ HASSEN

A PROBLEMATIC informal settlement in Woodstock is set to be evicted from privately-owned property. The settlement at the corner of Page and Cornwall streets has been around for five years when eight shacks were erected on the land. Yolanda Abrahams, the owner of the property, confirms that attorneys are currently in the process of ending a six-month-long court case. “The matter is currently being handled by my attorneys and those squatters will be evicted,” Abrahams says. Residents living in the vicinity of the settlement feel that squatters have had their fair share of problems over the years such as drug and alcohol abuse, along with other anti-so-

cial problems. Resident Shareef Adams has reported fights at the settlement on a number of occasions to the police. He says alcohol abuse is the main reason behind the settlement’s degradation. “This matter has been around for a long time and there were residents who attempted to tackle this issue, but came nowhere,” he says. According to Adams, the vagrants initially set up camp on the field opposite its current location, but due to a fire a few years ago, the settlement was forced to relocate. Adams says: “There are people living there who used to live in houses in the surrounding community and there are certain people there that are from outside the area.” A nearby resident, who asks to remain anonymous, has had endless battles with drunks urinating against her property wall, defecating in her garden and fighting outside

R37.95 R39.95

her door. “This settlement is sickening and it’s a real shame that residents have to be exposed to an informal settlement right in the middle of a residential area,” she fumes. People’s Post visited the site last week, where the shacks were seen bunched on top of each other. There was a noted absence of basic services such as a toilet, electricity and water. Ward councillor Bernadette le Roux described the Cornwall Street informal settlement as an “absolute nightmare”. “Owners just abscond and allow their properties to fall into such disrepair. This leaves the impression that the City of Cape Town is not doing their work, when indeed, this is a private matter,” says Le Roux. She confirms that a health inspector had visited the area in order to gain some insight into what problems residents are facing.

Le Roux says: “There is not much we as the City can do about this matter, because the settlement is on privately-owned land. All we can do is track down the owners and request that the site be secured and maintained.” The Mayoral Committee member for Human Settlements, Ernest Sonnenberg, confirms that the Cornwall Street property is privately-owned, making this a “private eviction”. “The City of Cape Town has been made aware of the ongoing court case, but has not been actively involved with it,” says Sonnenberg. He adds that the City will now continue to keep abreast of the matter. Abrahams adds that answers on the matter will surface by next week. She says: “My attorneys are attending to the matter and we hope to wrap things up very shortly.”

R49.95 R82.95

PeoplesPost Woodstock Maitland Edition 09 Oct 2012  
PeoplesPost Woodstock Maitland Edition 09 Oct 2012  

PeoplesPost Woodstock Maitland Edition 09 Oct 2012

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