Large-scale evictions in Zandspruit

Zandspruit1

Pictured above: Building material being loaded onto trucks to be taken away.

By Max Rambau, CORC

I got a call today (22 November 2010) that evictions were being carried out at Zandspruit and the shacks were also being demolished. The City of Johannesburg had been granted an eviction order at the South Gauteng High Court.

When I arrived I found out that about 70 shacks had already been demolished. About 120 shacks will be demolished. When I asked the local leadership why they had stayed with the eviction order for a long time without informing us, they said that they were relying on the municipal area managers and the ward councillor who had assured them that they should not worry they were going to deal with the matter.

There was nothing that could be done because the local leadership had not gone to court to defend the case of evictions and therefore there was nothing that could be done to stop the sheriff and the police from carrying out evictions.

The problem of Zandspruit is that there are too many leadership factions that operate differently from each other and were therefore not able to unite to fight for the community of Zandspruit. There were also rumours that some residents who were evicted would come back from work and demand their money back for the stands they had bought from some leaders and a big fight was expected.

At the time of writing this report I had received reports that 120 shacks had already been demolished. I will be meeting with Seri to find out if there was something that can be done to assist the residents whose building material and belongingshas been confiscated to get them back.