29 July 2007

Walmer Estate family to be evicted after 80 years in one house

Press Release
Sunday 29 July 2007

Another poverty stricken Cape Town family is facing eviction after their money-hungry landlord, Ebrahim Desai, sold their house out from under them to foreigners from Europe.

The family of seven, residing at 32 Malan Street, Walmer Estate have lived in the house for 80 years. The mother of the family, Mymoena van Niekerk (74), has a heart problem and must go to Groote Schuur hospital (which is very nearby) weekly for treatment. It is unclear how she will access her constitutional right to health care if she is evicted. Her husband of 78 also stays there as does his 61 year old ill brother.

The family appealed to the magistrate on 31st May not to grant the eviction but they have now been informed that the Sheriff will be coming to the house on Tuesday 31st July 2007 to evict them.

The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign's affiliate, the Gympie Street Residents Committee has sprung to the family's defence. Activists and communities who are sick and tired of gentrification and the forced removal of the poor from the city have vowed to go to the house to defend the family against the eviction. They are calling for support from anyone else who can assist on Tuesday.

The City of Cape Town and the Ministry of Housing must take some responsibility for the victims of gentrification. When people like the van Niekerk family are evicted, the DA and ANC authorities are very fond of saying that they can't do anything to help because it is a private matter. Yet they are the ones who should have provided housing for all poor families, especially pensioners, especially those who were willing to pay rent to live in derelict houses all the years, yet now face the devastation of eviction at the age of 78!


For comment call Willy Heyn on 073 1443619 or Fatima from 32 Malan Street on 073 4166293

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