Family face a bleak future

Lungiswa Jonas with a letter that was sent to the City of Cape Town by a social worker.

A Mfuleni mother and her disabled daughter fear they are going to be evicted when they get in the way of a housing development referred to as Bardale Phase 1, which is currently under way.

Lungiswa Jonas, and her daughter, Siphokazi, 26, live on erf 21686, which they say was allocated to them with the agreement of City representatives.

The City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, however, said according to the City’s beneficiary database, erf 21686 should be vacant, and urged the woman and her daugher to immediately contact the project administrators who will help them make an application for one of the houses.

She added that the City is not in possession of a formal handover certificate for the property.

”The beneficiary allocation for Bardale is done in accordance with a council resolution. Based on the council resolution, specific beneficiary groups are identified which are approved by the executive director of human settlements and ratified by the mayoral committee member for human settlements,” she said.

Explaining how she came to be in this situation, Ms Jonas said she had moved a number of times, in a bid to find a suitable place for her daughter. She said the street committee and social workers noticed this and on her behalf applied to the City for a plot for her. She said she was then temporarily taken to erf 21686 that was not occupied, with the agreement of representatives of the City. She came to know about her potential eviction when construction started in the area.

No work was done on her plot, however, because her name did not appear on the builder’s list.

When she went to ask questions she was then informed that the plot was not allocated to anyone.

“I was obviously shocked with such bad news. I explained why I live on the plot and pleaded with them to put my name down. But I was threatened with eviction,” she said, but added that she has not received any documentation to make this threat official.

”It makes me feel bad because the whole reason that I am in Cape Town was because there was no school for disabled people in George where we come from,” said Siphokazi.

“We were taken to the plot by the same member of the City of Cape Town who today act as if he never heard about us. He told the committee members to look for an emergency plot after he got a letter from the social workers,” she claimed. “That is how we ended up here.

“The shack is not a nice place to live in. It is not comfortable. “There is no space for my wheelchair to move. All we need is for the house to be developed so we can live in a better space,” she said.

Ms Van Minnen stressed, however, that the street committees had no authority to allocate sites to individuals. As a result, she said, Ms Jonas’s case is being regarded as an illegal occupation as it does not comply with the council resolution that governs the allocation of property.

Ms Van Minnen said residents who have not yet registered on the housing database are encouraged to do so in order to be considered for a housing opportunity when it becomes available and should they qualify as a beneficiary.