20 RDP homes set alight in Fynbos eviction drama

A young woman carrying sofa cushions walks past a burning RDP house after fighting at the Fynbos housing development.
A young woman carrying sofa cushions walks past a burning RDP house after fighting at the Fynbos housing development.
Image: ALAN EASON

As light rain began to fall in East London on Thursday afternoon, people evicted from the Fynbos housing project lined up at a makeshift soup kitchen for nourishment.

The violence that erupted over the East Bank evictions had diffused for the time being, but the situation remained tense. Some 20 RDP homes have been set alight and destroyed since Tuesday night, when occupiers clashed with mob of people claiming to be the rightful owners of the properties.

Buffalo City Metro (BCM) spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the deputy mayor, chief whip and department of human settlements officials were locked in an internal meeting where they were being briefed on the matter and finding a solution on the way forward.

Anton King, a representative for the occupiers, said there were still clashes between the groups, but most of the 212 families were now out of their homes.

“They are now standing around on the streets. But those other people are provoking us. There were hundreds of them here earlier this morning. Some of them even came to the edge of Vergenoeg, threatening our people there,” King said.

Another occupier, Marjorie Gennette, echoed the claim made by many of those evicted that the homes were going to people pouring in from the Eastern Cape's rural areas, and not vetted beneficiaries.

Gennette said: "I asked that the 570 houses built in East bank must be located fairly 50% blacks and 50% coloureds then no one will be unhappy. But it fell on deaf ears."

johnh@dispatch.co.za


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