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Outrage over removal tactics used on Forest Village occupiers over the weekend

A GROUP of around 150 mostly backyard dwellers and homeless people occupied the Forest Village Housing project over the weekend.

A GROUP of around 150 mostly backyard dwellers and homeless people occupied the Forest Village Housing project over the weekend.

Published Dec 6, 2021

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Cape Town - A group of around 150, mostly backyard dwellers and homeless people occupying a provincial housing project in Eerste River, over the weekend, have been removed.

Social Liberals for Backward Dwellers founding chairperson Shariefa Nolan said the occupation at the Forest Village Housing Project which began on Friday night at around 8pm was planned just after elections.

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“This was decided after the emails we sent; they didn’t take note and they said after elections they will address all the grievances and give us direction because most of these people are homeless.

“They’re sleeping in broken cars, churches and in tents everywhere and on District Six. We’ve been in District Six for 10 months without water and toilets. So this is now all people that are fed up,” Nolan said.

Teargas and rubber bullets were used on occupiers on Saturday.

“They’re using oppressive tactics instead of solving the problem and the grievances of our people. They are oppressing our people more. They need to realise that they are public servants and they are mandated to serve us with dignity and this is why we have representatives in all areas that are mobilising their people because people are fed up,” Nolan said.

She said those who had occupied the units have been on the housing waiting list for some time.

Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers condemned the action and said those who had occupied the units were from areas Woodstock, Manenberg, Elsies River and Kalksteenfontein.

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"At this stage it is estimated that 126 units were invaded. The extent of the damage is currently being ascertained and this will assist in determining what the cost of repairs will be," Simmer said.

On Friday, security removed around 80 people, and on Saturday, the sheriff removed the remaining, Simmers said.

"These attempts cannot be condoned, as it is counter-productive to ensuring that those who have been approved for a housing opportunity in this project are unable to move in. In addition, it also causes unnecessary delays to the full completion of small work that still needs to be done to the units, and now with damage that would have to be repaired."

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Police spokesperson Frederick Van Wyk confirmed that a malicious damage to property case has been opened for investigation. Van Wyk said no arrests have been made and the investigation continues.

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Cape Argus

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