Coronavirus – South Africa: Human Settlements Chairperson concerned about continued evictions in Cape Town

Coronavirus – South Africa: Human Settlements Chairperson concerned about continued evictions in Cape Town

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 3, 2020/ — The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Machwene Semenya, has denounced the continued evictions happening in Cape Town.

The actions of the city are both inhumane and inconsiderate, especially considering that it’s winter, as well as it is undermining the regulations of the national state of disaster in the fight against Covid-19, which prohibit evictions. Ms Semenya also emphasised that this is concerning considering the number of times this has happened in the city since the declaration of national state of disaster.

“We call on the city to show humility and compassion to its residents, especially the poor, by reducing its appetite for evictions. While we do not, in any way, condone illegal occupation of land, we urge the city to move with speed to put in place strategies, together with national and provincial housing departments, aimed at making available human settlements to the people of the city.

Over and above the evictions, the Chairperson condemned the distasteful manner in which law enforcement officers went about the evictions. “The evictions of a naked man stripped away his human dignity and literally and figuratively left the man naked. The actions are unwarranted, cruel and repulsive,” Ms Semenya said.

The committee will urgently seek to interact with the Department of Human Settlements, at national, provincial and local level to ascertain progress in delivery of human settlement targets for this year.

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