Siyanda Eviction to Richmond Farm: 26 Families Left Homeless, Housing Misallocation and Reports of Corruption Continue

18 03 2009

SIYANDA – 17 March 2009 – At 5am on a rainy Tuesday, 50 Siyanda families in Siyanda Section C began to dismantle their shacks in compliance with a negotiated relocation order to the Richmond Farm transit camp. The Department of Transport and the eThekwini Municipality had sought their eviction to make way for the new MR577 freeway. People had agreed to go to new houses in the Khalula Project but then their houses were sold off corruptly. They were then told to go to the Richmond Farm Transit Camp (government shacks) with no garuantees of when, if ever, they would get houses. They refused this and rebelled. Eventually they went to court and they won in court – they won an investigation into the corruption, that various measures would be put in place to ensure judicial oversight over conditions in the camp and that no one would spend more than one year there before being given a formal house


The court order, issued by the Durban High Court last week, stated that all respondents in the case would be allocated transit camp structures. But 3 families cited in the case are now homeless. In South Africa it is a criminal offence to leave any person homeless in an eviction. In this case it is also contempt of court. Read the rest of this entry »


Eviction threat to refugees

18 03 2009
Mar 18 2009 09:20
Source: Mail & Guardian

The Cape Town city council has filed an eviction notice attempting to force about 400 refugees out of the Blue Waters safety camp near Muizenberg, despite rumbling xenophobic violence that has seen nine foreign nationals killed in the past six weeks in the Western Cape.

Last week the city council asked the Western Cape High Court for permission to evict the refugees.

The camp opened in May last year after xenophobic attacks that left more than 100 foreign nationals dead and another 60 000 homeless across South Africa. Although the majority of the country’s refugees have either reintegrated within South Africa or returned to their home countries, hundreds still fear violent retribution.

Peter Cronje of the City of Cape Town says the group at Blue Waters represents a small minority of the initial refugees from the xenophobic attacks. “We had more than 20 000 people [in the Western Cape] in safety sites … and 19 600 of those have now relocated. We are now down to the last [few] people.”

Cronje says that the Blue Waters residents have “refused repeated offers of help by all the agencies involved … We made it clear that this was not a permanent solution. You cannot have refugee camps in the middle of society.”

But according to volunteer Tracey Saunders, who has worked with refugees at the camp since last May, the population of Blue Waters constitutes the “most vulnerable of the vulnerable”. Read the rest of this entry »