Relocation of Nomzamo residents 'temporary'

Hundreds of informal settlers from Nomzamo were relocated to Blackheath today.

The Department of Transport says the decision to relocate evicted Nomzamo residents to Blackheath is temporary. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The decision to move hundreds of Nomzamo residents to Blackheath is a temporary one, the Department of Transport's Tiyani Rikhotso said on Monday.

Hundreds of informal settlers, who were evicted from their homes in the township near Strand last week, were relocated to the area today, a move slammed by Blackheath residents.

"We are not saying they are going to live in Blackheath forever. What we are saying is that this is a temporary measure while conversations continue between the Department of Human Settlements and the city with regards to how we plan to move forward."

Blackheath residents have said they do not want to be dragged into the controversial land issue.

A resident, who lives next to the land meant for the Nomzamo settlers, says the community will stand together to keep them out.

"We don't want a squatter camp in our area because it is not nice."

Blackheath residents say if they knew the land could be used for housing, they would have wanted their own homeless and backyard dwellers to have the opportunity to live on the land.

Nomzamo residents have since returned to the Nomzamo Community Hall where families are being temporarily housed until all necessary paperwork is completed for their move to Blackheath.

Dozens of families were forcibly removed from their homes on a piece of land owned by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) last week.

Rubble in Nomzamo after forced evictions on 4 June 2014. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

The roads agency had obtained a court interdict for the removal of the residents, as they were squatting on the land illegally.

Police moved in on the township last Monday, destroying residents' homes while most were at work and their children at school.

Some in the community even clashed with police over the forced eviction, prompting a protest that saw the burning down of some shack dwellings.

The evictions, which took place in the middle of a cold front in the Western Cape, triggered a public outcry prompting government to intervene.

ANOTHER NIGHT OUT IN THE COLD

Nomzamo residents say they are not looking forward to spending their eighth night in the cold community hall.

It has been reported the anxious residents are beginning to believe that there are no real plans to provide them with housing.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has meanwhile written a letter to Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu requesting an urgent meeting regarding the evictions.

Representatives of the Western Cape government and Sanral have also been asked to join in on the discussions regarding the relocation process.

De Lille says the meeting will centre on legal discussions and other requirements needed for relocation.

"If these processes are ignored, it is very likely that a new set of problems will be created and then the rights of all the people involved will again be undermined."