Kraaifontein dwellers uncertain after eviction order

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An informal settlement community in Kraaifontein near Cape Town is living in uncertainty.  This after a court granted the owners an eviction order two years ago.

About 70 families are living on the privately owned land known as Klein Akker. The community claims that the City of Cape Town has not provided adequate temporary emergency housing, as ordered by the court.

Anna Marie Schoeman has been living at Klein Akker since November 2000.

Originally from Wellington, she first lived in a caravan on the site. She later acquired the wood structures she now calls home.

The informal settlement has grown over the years with some living in dilapidated buildings while others live in makeshift dwellings. Some of the residents were farmworkers and others settled in the area after they were evicted from other areas.

There is no electricity and only a few communal taps in the area.

“We want a place where we can feel safe, not now houses, they can give us this houses that they want to give us but it’s 3×3, its too small, you see. We don’t have money to put on and build on,” says Schoeman.

Life is hard for those living at Klein Akker. Residents say they are not opposed to being relocated.

The community says the municipality has failed to adhere to a court judgment which ordered the city to provide emergency accommodation for the illegal occupiers.

“They are supposed to be relocated to a temporary relocation area in Bloekombos which is notorious for violence and so the community is not willing to move there unless their safety can be guaranteed. Obviously the municipality has not complied with those criteria and therefore we have instructions to further litigation and see how we can address that,” says Chris Julius of Stellenbosch University Law Clinic.

The City of Cape Town says an agreement has been signed for residents of Klein Akker to move to the Wallacedene Phase Nine area That while it is aware of the safety concerns of the Klein Akker residents it has not been informed of any threats being made.

Lawyers for the landowner say he wants to develop the land for industrial use and the delay has had a major financial impact on him.

The Klein Akker community says it will go back to court for a judicial oversight into the matter.