Southern Africa: Eviction, Extortion and Upheaval - a Mother of Five's Search for a Place to Call Home in Khayelitsha


Nyameka Mantambo, a mother of five, was evicted after being unable to pay rent in Khayelitsha during the Covid-19 pandemic. She moved to Empolweni where, after shacks were destroyed and obtaining permission to rebuild, she was forced off the land after community members tried to extort R1,000 to 'allow' her to erect a shelter. The land belongs to the City of Cape Town.

Nyameka Mantambo was evicted from the backyard she was renting after her income drastically decreased during Covid-19 lockdown. (Photo: Brenton Geach)

For five years, Nyameka Mantambo and her five children were backyard dwellers in Town 2 in Khayelitsha. When the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced in late March, she was unable to pay her monthly R500 rent.

"I asked the landlord to allow me not to pay rent for two months, my landlord didn't agree and I had to look for another place to stay," Mantambo told Daily Maverick.

Mantambo is from the Eastern Cape, and moved to the Western Cape in 2000 in search of a job. She first stayed in Lower Crossroads where she was a backyard dweller.

Mantambo sells chicken feet to support her children aged two, five, nine, 11 and 15. With the drastic...

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