Media: Residents vow to fight move

6 10 2009

Residents vow to fight move
Liesl Smit | 5 October 2009 | Eyewitness News

Hostel residents in Athlone have vowed they will resist the city’s attempts to relocate them to Blikkiesdorp.Over 300 people live in the Spes Bona Hostel in Bokmakierie but the city maintains the premises poses a health hazard. Families were relocated to the hostel after they lost their homes, either as result of fires or flooding. The majority of the hostel’s residents were moved about five years ago with promises of a better life and homes for all.

Now, instead of decent homes, the city has decided to relocate them to what is known as Blikkiesdorp. Its official name is the Symphony Way Temporary Relocation area but Spes Bona resident Sweetness Moosa says there is nothing temporary about Blikkiesdorp.

“What about our families and the children,” says Moosa.

Another resident David Martin says they will not budge. “They are making a wrong move,” says Martin.

Meanwhile, Margeret Bennet fears the move will impact her children’s’ safety. “What will happen during the night? You go (sic) into the toilet and get raped,” says Bennet.

The city claims the hostel is both crime-ridden and a health hazard.

Residents refuse to exchange walls for ’tin cans’
Liesl Smit | 5 October 2009 | Eyewitness News

Residents of the Spes Bona hostel in Bokmakierie have said they refuse to be dumped in Blikkiesdorp.

More than 60 families currently live in the hostel, with up to 10 people in one room.

The city wants to move them as the building poses a health hazard.

Families at the Spes Bona hostel literally live on top of one another.

In one room there are six bunk beds and two storage cabinets, which leaves little space to walk around.

The shared bathrooms look dirty and unsanitary, whilst litter is strewn across the stairs. But residents say that life at the hostel is better than life in Blikkiesdorp would be.

They say they do not want to trade brick walls for a life living in a “tin can.”

One woman fears her five young children will be raped if she moves now.

Most of the residents have lost their homes to fire and flooding. Some have been moved there from their backyard dwellings.

Everyone has been promised homes, but they say they will be forgotten in Blikkiesdorp.

(Edited by Danya Philander)

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