Disgruntled residents from Kempton Village, a social housing development project in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, are calling on Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi to intervene in their looming eviction.
According to the eviction notice, residents will have to vacate their units by the 22nd of November, for failing to settle the outstanding payments on their rent and utility bills.
The Kempton Village Social Housing Project was launched in November 2020 by former Human Settlements Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.
Jeffrey Motsane says residents want government to intervene urgently as they have been dragging their feet.
“Even today, we never had any response from the municipality and the province also is not coming to us. But last week we managed to get a hold of the new Premier Panyaza Lesufi of which he said his team, even though they never come physically but contacted telephonically, but they never even helped us those guys. We want them to come and talk to us because they promised us this place is social housing and it’s our place. We want them to come to the party and address us and tell us guys, this is the situation and this is the people who made errors and are wrong. This is the only call we are making.”
Residents say that in recent months they have been forced to default on their payments due to the drastic increases.
Another resident, Chester Mangena, says they have tried on many occasions to seek answers from the owner, however, that is when they were met with the eviction notices.
“We had a problem with the person who claims to be the owner but listen, we have got a challenge here with the high rate of electricity and the high rate of water billing, which they did not come to the party to resolve the matter with us. We have been complaining and pleading with them to say, ‘listen, I can’t be paying for example R2 000 and when the bill comes for water its R2500 or R1800. So, how did we actually land to that amount? So, they actually failed to explain to us that.”
Mangena says it’s a very traumatising experience for the residents, as they have no alternate accommodation. He says there are also many elderly citizens as well as children living in the building.
Kempton Park residents evicted from a social housing project: