Answers needed on Newtown evictions

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Leader, Gauteng Legislature

The Johannesburg Housing Company needs to give clear answers about the reasons for the mid-winter evictions of 2000 people from the Newtown Urban Village in inner city Johannesburg.

Many are still outside in the street with their furniture as they have no alternative accommodation.

I am particularly touched by the case of Ms Lucia Mdluli who has spent a week in the cold with her 17-year-old brain-damaged son, Lindokuhle. According to Mdluli, he became brain-damaged thirteen years ago due to negligence at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital when he was admitted with burn wounds.

Mdluli and other vulnerable people have been sorely let down by government.

The JHC has provided some good social housing projects, but these evictions are a stain on its reputation.

The Johannesburg Council has been ducking its responsibility in this matter, with Housing MMC Daniel Bovu unavailable for comment, and ward councillor Nokuthula Xaba has acted as a bystander in this matter.

The fraud allegations made by tenants need to be investigated speedily and alternative housing provided for people like Ms Mdluli and her son who have nowhere else to go.