Rightful RDP house beneficiaries also evicted
By Khuthala Nandipha
The third round of evictions is expected in East Bank/Fynbos 2 after illegal occupants simply moved back into the standing houses after they were evicted at the beginning of November.
Following at least five seatings between Buffalo City Municipality leadership and East Bank/Fynbos community members, Deputy Mayor Zoliswa Matana and BCMM leadership promised that they will meet with the Chief Whip and the Mayor to find short, mid and long-term solutions.
“This is not satisfactory at all. I am 38 years old and have been staying in a backyard shack since I was 18. I have four children and a grandchild. I need a home of my own, I have nowhere to go,” lamented Rabia Delong, an illegal occupier who has since moved back into the house she had occupied three years ago.
300 families have sought refuge in backyard shacks, local churches and a tent that was mounted as an emergency shelter. Currently, 90 adults and 108 children are accommodated in churches and the tent and are seeking sponsorships for food and clothes that they lost during the evictions and fire.
“The Deputy Mayor told us that they will not be providing alternative shelter to anybody as this will set a bad precedent for other occupiers,” said Delong who was part of the meeting last week.
She applied for a house ten years ago and each time she checks with the office, her name is not in the Municipal database, forcing her to re-apply, over and over. Their councillor, Ayanda Mapisa, she says, does not attend any meetings relating to this matter.
Meanwhile, rightful beneficiaries have also been evicted. Ntombelanga Nogixa (40) was approved for housing after applying in 2003 and she moved into her two-bedroom house in East Bank three years ago.
To secure her house, she built a shack just next to the plot where her house was meant to be built. She claims that tension had started long before the houses were built.
She has official papers from the Department of Human Settlements proving that she had followed the necessary processes, but, this did not stop Buffalo City Law enforcement from throwing her out in the rain in the last two evictions.
“In June 2019, I was unceremoniously evicted, despite having these papers. My name was apparently not in the BCMM database. In the second round, during the rain, they threw me out again. The municipal workers said all they know is that everyone on my street must go,” said a distressed mother of three.
Her lounge suite is now ruined along with all her appliances from the television, microwave, iron and kettle to the fridge. A few hours later, municipal workers came back, asked to see her papers, and said she was not meant to have been evicted.
“I feel violated because they didn’t even knock, they tried to break down my front door, I shouted that they must come to the kitchen side. I am told I will get a title deed within 7 years, which I hope will make life easier for me,” said Nogixa.
Her house does not yet have running water, no running toilet and no taps. The house is still incomplete, and there has never been any indication that it will be finished. She asks neighbours for water for her family of five.
Two weeks ago, she was also caught in the crossfire between owners and occupiers. Stones were thrown into her house through the bedroom windows at nighttime, forcing her and her family to sleep in one room and lay low.
“Houses are allocated even before the foundation has been laid, they have numbers allocated to those who applied. I don’t know what needs to be done to sort out this uncertainty. It is a mess,” she said re-packing her house and damaged belongs.
According to Matana, the matter of vandalised houses is in the hands of the court and she asked community leaders to assist them in restoring peace.