“These people lost their jobs, they can only afford to pay less than R500 per month and if Joshco doesn’t come down to us, we are going to shut down this place until they cooperate,”

The historic site where the Freedom Charter was signed in Kliptown, Soweto, was yesterday shut down by residents during a protest march to demand full ownership of their flats, and better services from the City of Joburg’s Social Housing Company (Joshco).

The protest was one of several in Johannesburg yesterday, as residents expressed their dissatisfaction with lack of housing and the mushrooming of illegal settlements in several areas.

The Kliptown residents were joined in voicing their anger and frustration by communities from Protea South, Lenasia South, Ennerdale, Zakariyya Park and Eldorado Park.

The protesters claimed they received letters from Joshco informing them of the company’s intention to evict them due to outstanding rent. They also alleged that the company had threatened to switch off all services, including electricity and water.

“The service we receive here is very poor, in fact we don’t understand why we have to pay Joshco so much money.

“We have been engaging with Joshco and the City of Joburg on this matter, but they do not seem to understand.

“Instead, we received letters of evacuation which were effective from July 15 – and some residents are already evicted,” said Kliptown Square Flats chairperson Boy Motsoeneng.

Another resident, Chantell Brink from Ennerdale, said her children were no longer safe since a plot of land close to their home was occupied.

“My kids’ lives are in danger because of foreigners invading the land illegally and the Johannesburg metro police is doing nothing about it. We have been communicating with the municipality about this but they don’t care,” said Brink.

Ennerdale community spokesperson Reedwaan Sallie said residents have submitted a demand for those occupying the land illegally to be removed.

“We took them to court so they can legally remove this shack and the court gave them an eviction notice, but they don’t want to go. They say this is a war against the rich and the poor, we know someone is benefitting from this,” said Sallie.

One of the illegal tenants, who wanted to remain anonymous, said all she wanted was a place to stay for her children.

“I have a place at Lawley but the space is too small for me and my children. These people have to understand that not all of us can afford bond houses.

“I can only start with a shack and we are not criminals. We can’t steal. All we need is a place to stay,” she said.

The residents claim they paid R1,500 for a piece of land and had lost money because their shacks had been destroyed.

Kliptown Square Flats secretary Thulani Khumalo said the tenants were jobless and could not afford more than R500.

“These people lost their jobs, they can only afford to pay less than R500 per month and if Joshco doesn’t come down to us, we are going to shut down this place until they cooperate,” said Khumalo.

https://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/KlipT010-631x418.jpghttps://newsoweto.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/KlipT010-631x418-150x150.jpg[email protected]Metro
“These people lost their jobs, they can only afford to pay less than R500 per month and if Joshco doesn’t come down to us, we are going to shut down this place until they cooperate,” The historic site where the Freedom Charter was signed in Kliptown, Soweto, was yesterday shut...