Bromwell Street residents yesterday gathered before the Western Cape High Court to hear the outcomes of an application they filed last year, regarding the emergency accommodation of the 27 people due to be evicted from the Woodstock houses. The lawyers representing the residents, requested that the court suspend their eviction order and that the City of Cape Town find reasonable alternative accommodation.
Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, Ndifuna Ukwazi Co- director and Head of the Ndifuna Ukwazi law centre, Mandisa Shandu explains that while the City has indicated that the residents can be relocated to Wolwerivier, the residents have voiced their anger at being removed far from the CBD, since in their view the City has not adequately investigated options available to them.
“This is off the back of on-going eviction from areas such as Salt River and Woodstock, which has resulted in the displacement of many households on the periphery of the City.”
She added that the residents, while having endured an exhausting process remain resilient in their efforts to access more ‘acceptable’ housing.
Meanwhile, given anger against gentrification within Cape Town, the plight of Bromwell residents has garnered widespread support from other communities, all echoing the call for the City to provide affordable housing within close proximity to the CBD.
But, presiding Judge, Leslie Weinkove, raised eyebrows when she asked residents; “What’s the point of being near a school? What’s the point of them being near transport? And where are they going to go?” This after Weinkove heard testimony that the majority of the 16 adults living in Bromwell Street are unemployed and cannot afford the high rentals of the inner city, but are refusing the area allocated for their relocation.
“The Issues that they are facing has resonated with a lot of communities who weather were forced out of the City pockets years ago under apartheid forced removals are very sympathetic to their plight…This is something that is current and ongoing and affects the hearts and minds of a lot of Capetonian residents,” Shandu asserted.
Shandu noted that a few residents visited the allocated relocation in Wolwerivier and were starkly reminded of the kind of life that they would be living on the outskirts of the City.