Prasa warns of evictions if land invaders don't move off CT's central rail line

Residents in the Lockdown informal settlement in Phillipi have received a notice to vacate, but they said that they had nowhere to go.

Residents of the Lockdown informal settlement on the railway line. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has warned that it would have to resort to evictions if land invaders did not move away from train tracks in Langa and Phillipi.

For the first time since November 2019, train operations resumed on the central line on Monday, but the service stopped at Langa due to shacks on and alongside the tracks.

More than 8,000 people have made their homes like this in Langa and Phillipi.

READ: Vandalism, land invasions major obstacles to restoring CT's central rail line

Residents in the Lockdown informal settlement in Phillipi have received a notice to vacate, but they said that they had nowhere to go.

Community leader David Meleko said that many people had lost their jobs and settled alongside the tracks because they could not afford rent.

"For more than six months, we've been staying here. If Prasa wants us to move, don't force us out without providing us with another place because we don't have anywhere else."

Prasa board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane said that the agency could not offer alternative options.

"Everybody is aware that we're asking them nicely to move, so we want people to go voluntarily. In the event that the voluntary action doesn't happen, we have no other alternative but to go to court but that is the last resort."

He said that they were engaging with local and provincial government on the matter.

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