Ricochet News

'We now sleep in the bush after Metro demolished our homes' protesters

By Afikile Lugunya - May 24, 2018
'We now sleep in the bush after Metro demolished our homes' protesters

A group of about 20 residents from different Wards in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Thursday marched to the City Hall where they handed over their memorandum of demands to municipal representatives to voice their unhappiness over evictions at informal settlements.

The protesters, who wore Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) attire, repeatedly chanted "down with [Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC for Human Settlements] Nqaba Bhanga ... down with [Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor] Athol Trollip".

According to the protesters, they trusted the two with their votes, but are now constantly disappointed with them.

"We don't have places to stay that is why we are here to ask to occupy the land. We sleep in the bushes with our children because we don't have places to sleep after the municipality stripped away our houses and took our furniture. So, we cannot start over," 30-year-old Joe Slovo resident, Phatheka Bambeni, told RNEWS.

"What the municipality is doing is not right, because they are saying that the land belongs to the municipality, but are not giving us alternative places to live in.

" I have been living in Ward 41 at Joe Slovo for more than seven years now."

She explained that they were instructed to move to Joe Slovo years ago by the previous African National Congress (ANC) led municipality to await their RDP houses. However, instead of getting houses, their shacks were demolished and they lost their property when the Democratic Alliance (DA) took over.

She said that they have witnessed houses being built right before their noses and some housing sites are being sold while they don't have homes.

"We are waiting with blue cards and Housing Development Agency (HDA) documents, which are not helping us in any way," Bambeni said.

The protesters said the municiplaity has demolished thier homes at Joe Slovo on the 13th of February and the 21st of March.

They now want a response to their memorandum of demands by the 14th of June 2018.