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SAHRC listens to plight of victims of farm evictions

Most residents of the Spokiesdorp informal settlement in Rawsonville have either been evicted from farms or have had to leave farms due to various reasons.

FILE: The HRC visits former farm workers who were forcibly evicted from a farm in Dec 2015. The 23 families now live in Newrest in Wellington. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has heard how some Rawsonville residents are preparing for a dark Christmas due to poor living conditions.

This is one of the areas the commission is visiting to help people affected by farm evictions and other human rights violations.

Most residents of the Spokiesdorp informal settlement in Rawsonville have either been evicted from farms or have had to leave farms due to various reasons.

Many feel they've simply been dumped there.

Cathleen Fourie says she's been living in the community for six years and to this day there's been no electricity in the area.

“They must get their food on the fire. There are candles inside and the children are playing inside. When are those candles going to fall over?"

The SAHRC's Regional commissioner Chris Nissen says his job is to listen to the plight of the people and find ways to help.

“There is an issue of people’s rights that have been violated and there are people who have been put off the farms without due process being followed. But even if people have been out of farms when there has been due process, we need to get to those instruments that are available to people to help to fight their cases.”

Only a handful of residents in Spokiesdorp can afford to get power from a neighbouring community by using 200-metre cables.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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