Eastridge Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release 30 April, 2009
A whole family (actually 6 families living in one home) residing at No.17 Emery Street in Eastridge “Smartie Town” in Mitchell’s Plain has been unfairly and unlawfully evicted. Now, at least 20 more families are slated to be evicted in Eastridge.
Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC) evicted the families about two weeks ago. The family is currently living in a cupboard in front of their house and all their furniture and possessions have been destroyed by the rain. CTCHC is now fixing the house for someone else because it stands to make money off of the eviction.
The company has given invalid reasons when evicting these families including falsely claiming the house is involved in selling drugs. The head of the family that is meant to own the house through a rent-to-buy agreement is currently unemployed and has no place to go to. She ahs been given a government subsidy of R18,400 and her eviction means that the subsidy has been taken away from her. In the past, CTCHC has failed to provide the community of Eastridge with electricity and sanitation but now that the family has been evicted, they are renovating the home for others.
The entire Eastridge community is upset by this incident and complete disregard for the poor and because the government has repeatedly refused to call CTCHC into account. The Eastridge AEC believes that this eviction is illegal and immoral. The family is living homeless while the home will remain empty for many months to come.
Now, at least 20 more families are being threatened with eviction. The main reasons is because of a current rent boycott by residents who are refusing to pay rent that has been unilaterally increased from R250/R350 to R800. The poor residents of Eastridge and the other 8 CTCHC villages cannot afford to pay this much especially since CTCHC (with the government’s support) has also scrapped the original rent-to-buy agreement.
According to AEC coordinator Gary Hartzenberg, these current evictions are also ‘in bad faith’ because the communities are currently negotiating with CTCHC and government. Since CTCHC had previously agreed to suspend all evictions in the 9 communities pending the negotiations, the AEC warns that this could threaten the possibility of any agreement.
For more information, please contact the Eastridge Anti-Eviction Campaign:Johannes Davids at 071-416-0250 Veronica at 071-223-4613 For general information about the 9 CTCHC villages click here or contact Gary Hartzenberg at 072-392-5859