More than 20 families evicted from social housing in Steenberg on the Cape Flats are bracing themselves for another cold front.
It’s expected to pass through the Cape Peninsula on Thursday. They say they’ve been living in the open since being evicted from their homes more than a month ago.
Most of the evicted concede to defaulting on what they call high rental payments recently.
“They are faced with mass evictions every day. The social housing company called Socho, which is subsidised by the national government in terms of social housing, have been brought in by government to work with people to bridge the gap where people cannot afford private bonded houses. The same company has not listened to provincial and national government when they say please before you evict these people let us arrange for alternative accommodation,” says community activist, Loyisa Nkohla.
For Maria Pearson it’s been more difficult. She has had to fend for herself and her two children.
“This one had a throat infection and colds because we are outside most of the time. Even me, I have been sick and coughing because of the fire. We don’t know what is going to happen from here,” says Pearson.
Some of the evicted say their rent is as much as R3 000 per month which they can’t afford. They’re either pensioners or unemployed.
They want national government to intervene.
“The tactical response team that was set up here has damaged a lot of the people. We have kids with broken knees that jumped out of windows. We have people that were beaten with guns and our question is this: who’s responsibility is it to put shelter and make sure that the question of human dignity, the question of safety and security, these people having shelter – who bares that responsibility?” says community leader, Thando Mahlasela.
Socho is based in Durban.
The CEO , Heather Maxwell, says the evictions in June were carried out in terms of a court order for non payment of rent.
The City of Cape Town says the evictions are a private matter