The Bromwell Street eviction saga has deteriorated into a tit for tat war of words between tenants and the City of Cape Town.
Residents who are being evicted on September 26 are accusing Mayor Patricia de Lille of going back on a pledge to help them with temporary homes in Woodstock.
The Mayor met with the affected 28 families last week and promised to help find a solution.
On Monday, she issued a statement saying she can’t help them as a group, instead encouraging evictees to apply for two planned social housing developments over the next 18 months.
The Woodstock Hub has been trying to evict the residents for two years, since it bought the block of five semi-detached houses, which it plans to demolish and erect a middle-income block of flats.
The eviction was supposed to take place last week Friday, but was postponed after De Lille intervened.
Residents have insisted that they want alternative accommodation in or near Woodstock.
“Specifically, we asked about a piece of City-owned land on Bromwell Street. The Mayor responded that she would look into the possibility of providing ‘containers’, on that or other city land, so that we may have a place to stay,” the statement says.
The mense say they were surprised to see De Lille “change her tune”.
“We have since learnt that the City of Cape Town has a Constitutional obligation to provide temporary alternative accommodation for evicted people, in or as near as possible to the area from which they are evicted.
“We have no intention of jumping the housing queue; we simply want the Mayor to fulfil her promise and obligation.”
But mayoral spokesperson, Pierrinne Leukes, says the Mayor proposed options to the residents without prejudice.
“This remains a private matter; Ndifuna Ukwazi has threatened to take this matter to court,” Leukes says.
“They have now forbid us from engaging directly with the residents. We are ready to defend our position in court if needs be.”
Spokesperson for The Woodstock Hub, Kate Thompson-Duwe, confirmed the evictions will go ahead on September 26.