Residents of Tsalanang Residential Complex in eMbalenhle were evicted by court order on 12 April 2018. Armed with rubber bullets, swarms of police forces arrived at the complex to remove tenants from units they have been occupying for years. The court order is allegedly a result of Govan Mbeki Housing Company’s plan to renovate the units.
Residents claim that they did not receive proper notices prior to the evictions, and that they have nowhere else to go. Tsalanang Residential Complex is intended for low- to
medium-income earners. Over the years, the complex has been shrouded in complications, with tenants complaining about their living conditions, including a lack of maintenance in the complex, and being charged different rental rates despite living in the exact same units.
“They charge us different rates for the same units,” said a resident who declined to be named.
“The landlord looks at our payslips and makes us pay rent based on how much we earn. We don’t understand this because the flats are exactly the same.”
At the same time, the units are dilapidated, with leaking geysers, peeling wall paint and windows that have allegedly been broken by GMHC officials themselves.
As the day progressed, all belongings in specified units were forcefully removed and windows and doors were broken to prevent tenants from returning and sleeping in said units. A major concern regarding this practice is that drug-users and homeless criminals would begin to occupy these empty units, posing a threat to the safety of neighbouring occupants.
When the mayor and MMC’s were alerted by concerned residents, they stated that they had no knowledge of the evictions.
Residents said that Busisiwe Mazibuko, general manager of the Govan Mbeki Housing Company, was heard saying that she does not care about them, and that she was only there for her money. When confronted by the media about these allegations, she simply smiled in the backseat of the vehicle through which she watched all that was happening.
Tensions were high as fridges, headboards, beds and other essentials were removed from
homes and left outside to be found by tenants, some of whom were not home when the evictions occurred.
The Govan Mbeki Housing Company offices remained unreachable for comment throughout the week.
Forced eviction in Embalenhle!Residents of Tsalanang Residential Complex in eMbalenhle were evicted by court order this morning (12 April 2018). The court order is allegedly a result of Govan Mbeki Housing Company’s plan to renovate the units.Residents claim that they did not receive proper notices prior to the evictions.Windows and doors were broken to prevent tenants from returning and sleeping in units.When the mayor and MMC’s were alerted by concerned residents, they stated that they had no knowledge of the evictions.
Posted by The Bulletin on Thursday, April 12, 2018