Sanral evicts squatters in Strand

Sanral forcibly removed hundreds of illegal squatters from Strand.

Residents of an informal settlement in Strand have been forcibly removed from their homes in the Lwandle informal settlement. Picture: EWN/Lauren Isaacs

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of families who were evicted in the Nomzamo area in Strand on Monday face an uncertain future.

Hundreds of people in the Lwandle informal settlement were evicted after the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) obtained a court order to forcibly remove squatters from the land, which is privately owned.

Fifteen-year-old Xolelwa Pupu stared at her demolished house in disbelief when she arrived home from school on Monday afternoon.

Her family was among those who lost most of their belongings, including their food, during the eviction and demolition of shacks.

Pupu says her heart sank when she saw the streets littered with burning rubble and heavy rain destroying their kitchen appliances and mattresses.

"My heart is broken. We don't have something to eat now. We are hungry coming from school."

As darkness fell, residents were still worried about where they would spend the night, with seemingly no relocation plans in place.

A ward councillor in the Nomzamo area has told Eyewitness News he is shocked by the eviction of dozens of families with no relocation plans in place.

Mbuyiselo Matha says he has been frantically trying to find accommodation for the destitute families.

"There are more or less 300 shacks that have been demolished and some of the people's homes were demolished while they were at work and their children were at school. As one can see, it's a mess. People have nowhere to go. All their materials were taken."

Meanwhile, Sanral has told Eyewitness News it was acting within the law in its eviction of the illegal squatters.

Sanral says it successfully obtained a court order to evict the residents occupying private land earmarked for a special project along the N2.

Sanral's Vusi Mona says the land was declared part of a national road in terms of section 40 of the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act of 1998.

He says community members were notified about the court order in January.