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Eviction: Families left out in the cold

The spate of protest action by residents of the Helderberg has now led to the illegal occupation of land and several families’ subsequent eviction, leaving them distraught.

A group of people, who had been illegally occupying the privately-owned Croydon Farm along the R102 for nearly two years, looked on helplessly as law enforcement officers and members of the Red Ant Security Relocation and Eviction Services destroyed their homes on Monday afternoon (8 April).

This followed an eviction notice apparently served to them the morning, informing them of their illegal occupation of the tract of land.

According to Bongikhaya Mdiza, a Croydon Farm settler, the battle for land has been ongoing for years now.

“Before moving to Croydon Farm two years ago, we occupied a piece of land in Kramat Road,” he related.

“But we had to move because the land was privately-owned and had apparently been sold to someone else.”

After the sale, he and others were placed at Croydon Farm by the previous landowner and received informal structures, three portable toilets and electricity, and were left to set up their homes, the community leader claimed.

“Today we received eviction notices again and within minutes law enforcement officers and the Red Ants told us to leave the premises,” Mdiza recalled. “They took all our belongings and put it in a truck that was parked at the entrance of the informal settlement.”

The group then took to the streets in a bid to reinforce their demand for adequate housing, considering they have been waiting for years.

“We are aware of the situation in Croydon and we are working tirelessly to try and solve the situation” said Victor Isaacs, councillor for Ward 109.

He added that unsuccessful attempts have been made to incorporate this eviction issue with similar demands for housing one in Macassar.

“We were hoping that the people of Macassar will allow these people in while we find a solution,” Isaacs said.

Despite attempts, DistrictMail could not confirm the name of the landowner, thus no comment could be obtained at the time of going to print.

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