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Evicted families squatter along Modderfontein and Dale roads

Gauteng Department of Human Settlement spokesperson Tahir Sema referred the papers query of alternative venue to the citys spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane, who had not responded by the time of going to print.

As the winter season is slowly creeping in, some of the evicted families are now settling on the side of the busy Moddernfonetin and Dale roads in Austin View.

They are not far from the busy road and live in danger as a result.

These are many of the residents who had occupied an open land across the road and who were evicted by the JMDP and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements in a series of shack demolitions and evictions between March, April and early May.

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The women, men and children cramp together in a tent which they said was donated by a local church. Some of the children are as young as one year old and also have to endure the cold nights with a shortage of blankets.

The paper visited the families on May 22, where they were found lying in beds which are lined up inside the small tent.

Evicted Austin View alleged land grabbers put beds on rough and dusty grounds on the side of Modderfontein and Dale roads. Photo: Sphiwe Masilla
Evicted Austin View alleged land grabbers put beds on rough and dusty grounds on the side of Modderfontein and Dale roads. Photo: Sphiwe Masilla

One man, who requested not to be named, said they settled there after the JMDP and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements evicted them on May 3. “We have nowhere to go and that is why we are here. Most of us are not working and we cannot afford to pay rent if we were to consider renting rooms. It is cold at night and there is no privacy. It is really sad that we were removed and evicted across the road where we were nicely settled. Nobody deserves to live like this.”

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The small community uses one informal toilet not too far from the tent they live in.

The man said they cook on open fires which they make using wood from a nearby bush. He added that the food they eat is from handouts, which at times are not enough for all of them.

The paper contacted the Department of Human Settlement to ask if they would intervene and assist them with an alternative venue.
However, the department’s spokesperson Tahir Sema said, “Please contact the City of Johannesburg for comment on this matter.”

City spokesperson Nthatisi Modinagone was contacted on May 21, 23 and 27 but had not responded by the time of going to print.

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