PICS: Plight of 300 people evicted from Klein Akker farm

The families have occupied abandoned buildings on the land, including a former main house, and what residents say are former horse stables and pig pens, with some pens catering to more than one family.
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Three months ago about 300 people, including children and the elderly, were evicted from Klein Akker farm in Kraaifontein and left destitute, following the successful initiation of eviction proceedings by the landowner because of plans to develop the land into an industrial or semi-industrial property.

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Following deputy Minister of Rural Development, Mncebici Skwatsa’s, intervention they were relocated to Mesco, an abandoned state-owned farm.

Mathys Swanepoel, Anna Geldenhuys and Johan Swanepoel next to their tents on state-owned farm Mesco. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

The families were evicted from Klein Akker farm, the home they had known for almost 20 years. Now they are doing their best to start afresh on the abandoned state farm.

The families have occupied abandoned buildings on the land, including a former main house, and what residents say are former horse stables and pig pens, with some pens catering to more than one family.

Anna-Marie Schoeman is staying in an old water pump house with her kids. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Residents said they were provided with four water tanks and four portable toilets to share among the 50 families.

They heard there was a mobile clinic on another farm, but were unsure of its schedule.

Isaac Warries, 56, a member of one of the 11 families staying in the farm house said it was surreal sleeping in the house because he had worked at as gardener for 15 years for the former owner.

Isaac Warries, 56, stands in the yard he used to tend for 15 years as a gardener. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

“I lie in bed and think about how I used to work here before the farm was sold to the government. It was beautiful, with vineyards and olive groves, but its been allowed to fall into such a state. Thieves stole all they could – wiring, pipes – we have to use candles and make fires as there is no electricity.”

In August, the Western Cape High Court upheld a court order to evict the Klein Akker farm dwellers.

The families were offered the City of Cape Town’s emergency housing site known as Kampies, in Philippi, which not all the families accepted because it was far from everything they knew.

More: IOL

 

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