9 November 2018

South Africa: Evicted Blikkiesdorp Families Refuse to Return

None of the nine families who were expelled from Blikkiesdorp have returned to the area, though the City of Cape Town was ordered by the court to find them accommodation far from the residents who expelled them.

On 10 October the families left Blikkiesdorp after other residents threatened to burn down their homes because they were suspected of harbouring gangsters. The families sought refuge at the Central Methodist Mission Church in central Cape Town.

The families, represented by Sally Hurt and Associates, took the City to court on 23 October asking the City to find them accommodation and to make Blikkiesdorp safer. The Western Cape High Court ordered the City to provide the families with alternative accommodation in Blikkiesdorp but far from the residents who threatened them; to provide them with water and sanitation, electricity, and fire kits; and to ensure that those among them who had been identified as possible beneficiaries of the proposed Symphony Way housing project were guaranteed inclusion in the selection process. But none of the families have chosen to return to Blikkiesdorp.

Eight families have found alternative accommodation with families and friends in different areas.

The only family left in the church, Jo-Ann Cupido, Dillon Abrahams and their four-year-old daughter Julia Ngoma, said they were still at the church because their family members did not have space for them.

"We have tried to look for places to go to but we have failed. We are unemployed so we don't have money for anything. I have become a car guard just so I can get some coins to feed us. But we are not going back to Blikkiesdorp, we can't, it is not safe there," said Cupido.

Abrahams said he had recently got a cleaning job, but would only be paid at month end.

"We don't know what is going to happen to us", he said.

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