D-Day for Schubart Park residents

ALTHOUGH thousands of Schubart Park flats residents in Pretoria have dug in their heels saying they will not move until the council has provided them with alternative accommodation, some feel it is best to move their valuables in time.

They fear their property could be destroyed by the Red Ants and the police during forced evictions. This after media reports that the council will explore other avenues to clear the building. One of the residents who has just removed his bed and other belongings from the flat said he was afraid that forced evictions could be violent and that he might lose his life in the process.

"I don't want to sacrifice my life for this place, what happened last year at Kruger Park traumatised me and I don't want to see it happen it again."

However, Gawie Loots, 39, an unemployed father of two, said he was not happy with the present situation but he has nowhere to go. "I have been living here for more that 18 years and I have a pregnant wife and two children, how do they expect me to sleep in the streets?

"We went to the Tshwane housing department and tried to apply for alternative accommodation, but we were told that we did not qualify because my wife earned R6000 before deductions," he said.

Member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing Absolom Ditshoke insisted that all efforts to assist with alternative accommodation were taken by the municipality but were disregarded.

The city had ordered the residents to vacate the building by yesterday to allow renovations as the flats were "unsafe and inhabitable".