11 June 2009 – The Sowetan
Anna Majavu – firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents to get new area
One of Cape Town’s largest informal settlements – Joe Slovo, Langa – is set to be entirely demolished after the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that its 20000 residents be moved out.
The Department of Housing wants the land for a new housing project and last year won an eviction order against Joe Slovo residents in the Cape high court.
Even though the settlement has existed for over 15 years, and residents promised houses before each election, the housing department successfully argued that the residents were “illegal squatters”.
The court upheld the eviction order, but said those evicted “must be consulted” and given accommodation in Delft’s “temporary relocation area”, 15km further away from Cape Town.
The court ruled that the relocation area shacks must be fitted with sanitation, water and electricity.
Joe Slovo residents say they are reluctant to move because a 2007 civil engineer’s report found the structures “unfit for habitation”.
The court also ruled that 70percent of the “Breaking New Ground” houses in Joe Slovo be allocated to existing residents – if they qualify.
But housing expert Richard Pithouse estimated only 20percent of the residents would receive houses.
“The rest will be evicted to Delft and may never receive houses at all,” Pithouse said.