Khayelitsha organisation aims to halt housing evictions

Chaiperson of Khayelitsha Housing Restoration Organisation Nolungiso Sihawu on the right with the organisations secretary Nobantu Mpambani during the meeting in Khayelitsha.

The Khayelitsha Housing Restoration Organisation and its related organisations have expressed concerns about a number of people evicted from their houses.

The organisation hosted a meeting on Friday October 28 with other housing stakeholders to find ways to resolve housing woes. The organisation on Monday said it was trying to work with housing agents, government and the banks to try and stop evictions of people who can no longer pay for their houses.

Traditional leaders and ordinary people from Gugulethu attended the meeting to network with other housing stakeholders.

Chairperson Nolungiso Sihawu said the organisation wanted to help people access, among other things, subsidies and title deeds, and help resolve housing disputes.

She said evictions were among the biggest challenges facing poor people. “Our focus is restoring people’s dignity to have their houses no matter what. There are constant evictions that crop up and displace people.

“As these organisations, we have a duty to fight that, fight for ownership and restore the house for whoever stays there,” she said.

She added that the aim of the meeting with different stakeholders was to find ways of bringing solutions to housing disputes.

She said from Langa, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi, Mfuleni and other areas, people are facing the same challenges.

“Housing is a problem right around the country. We aim not to physically fight but to find ways that would be suitable for all of us. But we are against evictions for people who are unemployed. We are of the view that it is not of their own making that they can no longer pay for their houses.

“We feel that the banks should understand people’s situation before sending out sheriffs and evict people,” she said.
Chairperson of human rights movement Abemi BaseKapa, Mncedisi Twalo, said his organisation is against homelessness that is created to divide black people.

He accused the banks and the government of deliberately creating black on black violence.

“People that are normally evicted have probably paid about 90 percent of the debt but they are still evicted.

“This is created to create violence among ourselves as black people. Our black housing agents are aware that we will never allow people’s houses to be sold to outsiders. We will never allow people to buy people’s houses simply because that family can no longer afford paying for the house,” he said.

Mr Twalo advised those who wanted to buy houses in townships to rather seek advice from his organisation or the Khayelitsha Housing Restoration Organisation.

He said they have created a platform on Saturdays, the Families Housing Programme, that gives people advicee.

“Imagine having paid a house for more than 20 years and suddenly you find yourself on the street.

“That is not on. Some seniors are on chronic medication and have children and grandchildren that attend school. All that is not considered because of the few cents left to pay the house.

“ Or the same house is fully paid but because you do not understand housing issues, you are being robbed.

“We want to stress that we will not allow people to be thrown on the streets,” he said.