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Another reprieve for Bromwell street families

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Families of Bromwell Street in Salt River can breathe another sigh of relief after a delay in their eviction. Residents were initially to be evicted on the 26th of September after their houses were bought by The Woodstock Hub. The Western Cape High Court has however delayed the process after the handing over of an application to halt the eviction. The application was filed by Ndifuna Ukwazi Law Centre (NULC) who have succeeded in their appeal. The application also calls for the City of Cape Town to provide the residents with appropriate accommodation after their eviction. The case will commence on the 4th of November.

“We are confident that the court will order the City to intervene if there is no positive outcome on the 4th of November,” says head organizer at NULC, Emile Engel.

Engel said residents have been left traumatised since the discovery of their eviction, which is more than two years ago.

“There is relief for the families after the eviction has been halted, but it is only temporary reprieve. The residents are still at a high level of anxiousness from the thought of eviction without any alternatives,” says Engel.

Engels adds that there are two major concerns for the 28 families of Bromwell Street. The first concern is the eviction, and the second concern is their relocation.

“There are 19 children all together in the houses and they are the ones that will be dealing with the most severe trauma once they have been evicted,” says Engel.

Engel states that similar cases in the past has led to courts finding that the municipality has a responsibility to protect the rights of citizens, such as the right to adequate housing and the right to alternative accommodation.

“The City is responsible for dealing with the displacement of evicted families, they are also responsible for dealing with the disturbances families face after having to move to faraway from amenities, hospitals and schools,” says Engel.

Engel said residents in Woodstock and Salt River are familiar with the process of families being sent to the Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) in Blikkiesdorp after eviction.

“Families being sent to temporary relocation areas disrupt the schooling of the children in the family and the access to vital resources such as medicine and hospitals,” says Engel.

Updates on the story can be followed on the Facebook page ‘Reclaim The City’. VOC

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