Media: Group takes up cudgels for family facing eviction

25 09 2009

September 21, 2009 Edition 2
Natasha Prince –
Cape Argus

A FAMILY that had been living in a subsidised house in Delft – a part of the N2 Gateway project – was horrified when it was visited by police officers who told it to leave on Wednesday evening.

The owner was one of several thousands who had received a subsidised house as part of the government’s contentious N2 Gateway housing Project two years ago.
The family of six had been living rent-free for two years in the house on Aberdale Street in Section 2 of the new N2 Gateway housing project, said resident Abigail Snygans.

Snygans said they had entered into an arrangement with the owner who had asked the family to occupy the empty government-built house to prevent vandals from destroying it.

Snygans, who used to live in Eerste Rivier, said the owner had told them at the time that the subsidised house was too small to take in all her furniture and that the family could stay for as long as it saw fit.

Snygans said the owner had been living with relatives in Eersterivier at the time.

After living in the house for a year without electricity, Snygans and her family received a visit from Eskom.

“Since they installed the electricity, she (the owner) has been trying to get us to move out…

“Why must we move from a house,to Blikkiesdorp to live in a shack?” she asked.

Members of the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) in-tervened when police arrived at the house.

One of their members, Evelyn McQuena, said the owner should have produced a court order or an eviction notice.

“The owner is supposed to follow the correct procedures or you lose your house, it’s simple,” McQuena said.

There were several people sub-letting their homes in Delft and others who already had houses, but who had received homes from the government she said.

“She (the owner) shouldn’t have given away her key, because it means she doesn’t need her house… she knows she is going to lose this case,” McQuena said.

The AEC is rallying behind Snygans and her family.

A statement released by the campaign said: “The act by the owner proves that, since she had an alternative place to stay, she had no right to receive the free government house in the first place.”

The AEC has also demanded that people not accept homes from the government “if they already have places to stay.”

“The government must also do their job and prevent BNG/RDP houses from going to people who do not need them.”

When contacted yesterday, the owner of the house refused to comment on the matter.

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