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'They demolished everything': CT informal residents speak out after eviction

Families living on the privately-owned land, called Klein Akker, were kicked off the property this week.

FILE: An eviction unit uses chainsaws and crowbars to demolish shacks. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town said it offered alternative accommodation to residents evicted from a Kraaifontein informal settlement.

Families living on the privately-owned land, called Klein Akker, were kicked off the property this week.

Officials said they had made alternative plans to house the residents, but the offers were apparently turned down on two occasions.

Annemarie Schoeman, who's been living in the community for the past 19 years, explained it was the first time in her life that she's had to sleep outside.

“They demolished everything. I don’t have clothes. They took everything we had, our clothes and blankets.”

The city emphasised the eviction was private and the city’s law enforcement did not participate.

One resident explained they did not want to be relocated to another area.

“All of the jobs are here, and the people don’t pay so much because we can’t afford to pay for taxi fare. The children’s schools are also located in this district. It’s a big problem.”

Officials said the property owner acted on an eviction order that was granted by the Western Cape High Court in October 2017.

Residents then successfully applied to stay on until 1 July this year.

The city, in collaboration with the South African Human Rights Commission, is working to resolve the matter.

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