Payment for shack-dwellers welcomed

Ward 60 councillor Mvuzo Mbelekane speaks to the people who lost belongings when their shacks were demolished
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Following a motion to reimburse residents from the Wells Estate and Motherwell areas who had their shacks bulldozed earlier this year, Ward 60 councillor Mvuzo Mbelekane addressed scores of residents on the council’s resolutions yesterday.

The residents, who had gathered at the Wells Estate Multi-Purpose Centre, welcomed the news.

More than 50 shacks were demol- ished and families evicted.

Mbelekane said it was essential for everyone to attend such feedback meetings as the outcomes affected the entire community.

“It was wrong of the municipality to demolish these people’s shacks the way they did and they must be compensated for their lost belongings,” he said.

His responsibility was with the residents to ensure their interests took priority, Mbelekane said.

“These people lost a lot, not only their personal belongings, beds and homes, but their dignity as well,” he said.

“I am responsible for them and it is my duty to inform them of the outcome from council and I am happy to be bringing good news to those who were affected by the demolition.”

Litemba Singapi, 45, of Wells Estate, said that the eviction was being reviewed, did not come as a surprise.

“The DA is predominantly white and the attitude towards shack dwellings reflects this, to bulldoze and remove people forcefully is reminiscent of what had happened in South Africa in the past,” he said.

“But we are thankful to our ANC councillors for engaging in the matter and that we were ensured that the community will receive a payback for the things they had lost.”

Andile Thoba, 46, who had been living in Wells Estate for more than 10 years, said he encountered first-hand how the people suffered after their shacks were demolished.

“It feels as if Christmas has come early – and it is thanks to our councillor for his involvement in helping those who lost everything,” he said.

“It was not nice seeing how people were treated that day with nowhere to go, the whole thing was handled inappropriately.”

Mbelekane said as the process was still under review, he was unable to say when the affected residents could put in claims for goods lost.

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