At least 72 families have been living alongside 16th Avenue in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, since Friday after their shacks were demolished.
The families said they were evicted from Pharma Natura by property owners PN Investments.
"I was away when my shack was demolished. I nearly collapsed when I saw debris where my home once stood," said Samantha Tessling.
The young mother of four, who makes a living by recycling newspapers and cardboard, said she could not afford to build another house.
"We will have a black Christmas. I have been living in the area since 2000 and have nowhere to go," Tessling said.
According to court papers, PN Investments had been granted a court order earlier this year.
The eviction date was November 17.
Mashumi Mlangeni said the security company that destroyed their homes told them they would be bussed to alternate accommodation.
"We waited all day but no buses came. We are suffering. There are no toilets and we are worried about cholera," Mlangeni said.
Reuben Manzini said: "The government must help us. We are citizens of this country. It is not our choice to live in shacks, but we can't afford to build houses."
Gauteng housing department spokesman Aviva Manqa said the department intervened after the City of Johannesburg assessed the situation.
"We step in after all processes have been followed," he said.