Meadowlands residents who occupied the Fleurhof flats for months were evicted early this year after they were served a demand that they leave the premises.
89 of those evicted, lived on the street for 14 days because they had no place to stay at and some returned home. From the 89 that were evicted along with their children, parents had to sleep on the side of the road for 14 days since they had nowhere to go and the Department of Housing arranged alternative shelter for them.
The department provided them with temporary tents and the residents were moved to the Jerusalem informal settlement in Roodepoort. The Meadowlands Community Forum (MCF) are still engaging with the department of housing and providing assistance for the destitute residents where they can.
- WATCH: Evictions at Fleurhof are underway – [related story]
Surprise Makume from the MCF said, “The struggle doesn’t end here, we will continue engaging as our children now have to wake up early so that they can make it in time for school.”
“For now it is uncomfortable as there is no privacy and this is bound to have a negative effect on the children’s studies,”
He further added that the tents which were provided were not enough and had to be shared so each tent accommodates four families. Their current situation is not adequate, but the residents said that they were thankful that the government supplied them with mobile toilets and water tanks.
MCF would like to thank Morgan Makhubela and his directors for the wonderful contribution they made and for their visit to the Jerusalem informal settlement where the occupiers were relocated to after their eviction.
Makhubela supplied them with food parcels in order that they are able to sustain themselves and provide a cooked meal for the children when they return home from school.
They also promised to bring in social workers and doctors so that they could check everyone in terms of health issues and the environment in which they were relocated to.
- Protesting Meadowlands residents vow, ‘All hell will break loose if they try to evict us’ – [also read]
Makume said, “This shows that we are not abandoned and that our community and businesses haven’t forgotten about us.”
One of the evicted residents, Sifiso Sithole said, “The fact that the government was able to consider us is appreciated, but I am worried about the people who have been living here for more than 11 years. This area is a low laying and when the rainy season approaches, the area becomes flooded and muddy.”
“We also have to look out for each other because during winter it’s dark and there are no lights so we have to take turns so that we can look after our belongings to ensure our families’ safety,” he added.
A number of parents had to resign from work, citing safety concerns as some children have to walk from Jerusalem to Meadowlands.
Sithole said, “Informal settlements are not that safe, and as a result, we always have to patrol and check the area.”
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