families evicted

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Two hundred people have been forced to live in tents after they were evicted from the homes they had occupied for about 15 years.

Yesterday angry community representatives marched to the offices of eThekwini Municipality in Durban to hand over a memorandum highlighting frustrations over the delay in the process of allocating them houses.

The community was kicked off the land they had occupied in Sea Cowlake, near Newlands in Durban, without notice. They were told the area was to be used for a site for businesses.

This came after some business owners bought the land from the municipality.

Although community members say they were no longer angry that their land had been taken away suddenly, they said their dream was for the munici- pality to allocate them another area and rebuild their homes.

Thembinkosi Qumbelo, the chairman of the South African Shacks and Rural Dwellers Organisation, said the community was told they would be allocated another area to build on after a month, but five months later nothing had been done.

"The community is housed in two tents near where they were evicted.

"Family bonds are being destroyed and compromised since women and children sleep in a separate tent from their male family members," he said.

During the march, women sang that they were missing their husbands now that they went to sleep without them.

"We need to rebuild the family relationships destroyed since we were kicked out of our homes," said a woman.

Qumbela said the process of building proper houses for the shack dwellers was very slow.

The march proceeded peacefully, monitored by police until the protesters reached Durban City Hall where the eThekwini Municipality deputy manager, Derrick Naidoo, came out to receive the memorandum.