News / South Africa / Local News

Alanicka Lotriet
3 minute read
15 Mar 2018
5:33 pm

Krugersdorp tent squatters speak out

Alanicka Lotriet

Cyril Johnson, who is in charge of the camp, was more than willing to share some insight.

Cyril Johnson just wants to live peacefully. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

Krugersdorp community members became extremely concerned this week after several posts were made on Facebook regarding a small tent camp springing up on the corner of Kobie Krige and Church Streets in the Krugersdorp CBD, Krugersdorp News reports.

READ MORE: DA says yes to land reform, no to land grabs: Maimane

Immediately after discovering that the tents were put up, with the help of members of the Facebook page Krugersdorp Against War and Drugs and a non-governmental organisation, residents expressed their views on social media.

When the Krugersdorp News paid a visit to the camp, Cyril Johnson – who is in charge of the camp – was more than willing to share some insight.

“All of us are from the streets – some have been living there for a very long time. Where we end up at night was where we slept. Some of us even stayed at Tower of Life Shelter for some time, but left for various reasons,” he explained.

He added that he had been the shelter’s head chef for about three years, but left three months ago because he wasn’t happy with the way things were done. In the meantime, he and a few other homeless people slept near the Fire Department premises.

Cyril Johnson and Charlene Thompson are thankful for the donations. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

Cyril Johnson and Charlene Thompson are thankful for the donations. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

“We as a group of about 19 people were walking the streets last week when we saw this open space. We subsequently decided to sleep here. On Saturday Hester Foxcroft from Krugersdorp Against War and Drugs drove past and spoke to us,” Cyril said.

“The next moment, Hester and her group brought us tents, food and clothes. And, well, we started our own little community. Each morning and each night they feed us – everything we have here is what they’ve provided. We even have our own little kitchen and storeroom in one of the bigger tents. Each morning we try to come together to enjoy a cup of coffee before we start our day.”

This is what the tented community eats during the day. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

This is what the tented community eats during the day. Photo: Alanicka Lotriet.

However, he added that this would only be a temporary solution as the Krugersdorp Against War and Drugs group are searching for a building to home all the people living on the streets of Krugersdorp.

“In the meantime we want to invite all the other homeless people to our little community. If there are tents for them, they are welcome. We want to get them off the streets, because winter is on its way,” Cyril explained.

“We just pray that they don’t chase us away. Meetings are being held to find us another place. We pray that we find something. God bless these people who are trying to help us.”

Cyril and his group hope for a breakthrough soon.

Also read:

DA says yes to land reform, no to land grabs: Maimane

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