AS SOUTH Africans celebrated 15 years of democracy, the pavement dwellers of Symphony Way marked what they termed “un-Freedom Day”.
The families, facing eviction from the pavement they decided to occupy more than a year ago after being kicked out of newly-built houses destined for other families, yesterday hosted visitors from other informal settlements in Khayelitsha and Philippi, along with backyard dwellers from Guguletu.
“We decided to host this event because people say we are free, while we are not. If we are free, why are we living on a road and some people in shacks in informal settlements?” questioned Anti-Eviction Campaign spokeswoman Jane Roberts.
The small community of 127 families held a series of sporting events, and put on plays which reflected their lives.
“We have a netball team, and football teams here. We invited other teams from around Delft to come and play here,” Roberts said.
“The children put on a play which showed what happened when we were evicted from the houses, and when police came here to give us court orders.”
She said she was happy to see the children who live in Symphony Way having a day of play, just like normal children.
“It was nice seeing children playing and enjoying themselves.”
Aphiwe Mlandu, of Site B in Khayelitsha, said she decided to join the activities, because she too was not free.
“I might not be staying on a pavement, but I am in the same situation as the people of Symphony Way because I also live in a shack,” she said.
“The rain started last week already and we are living in fear. Some of us will have to leave our homes and stay with relatives for the rest of winter,” she said.