Developer strikes landmark cope with households occupying Kommetjie land

  • By way of the deal, the households who’ve been occupying the land won’t be evicted offered they don’t broaden the settlement or make a noise.

  • They’ve been promised borehole water, photo voltaic lighting and a septic tank.

About 50 households occupying practically three hectares of land in Ocean View, Kommetjie, have struck a cope with the event firm which owns the land. The households might be allowed to stay on the land with out concern of eviction.

The deal is “an affidavit that nothing is unimaginable”, says Bernardette Rossouw, who was one of many first individuals to occupy the land referred to as “Paradise” or “Haven View”.

She mentioned this was most likely one of many first casual settlements within the nation the place “a correct resolution” had been discovered.

The primary households moved onto the land alongside the mountainside above Ocean View in 2020. Many, like Rossouw, have been single dad and mom who had been residing as backyarders. The Ocean View Growth Belief, to which the land had been donated, sought to evict the households so as to construct low-cost housing. However in January 2022 the eviction utility was withdrawn within the Cape Excessive Court docket and the land was bought to a personal developer, Modern Investments. The developer is to construct subsidised housing alongside the settlement, in a brand new improvement referred to as Seabreeze Village.

Rossouw has been negotiating with the developer on behalf of the Haven View Group Voluntary Affiliation to safe the households’ future on the land.

By way of the deal struck with the builders, the households won’t be evicted from the land they’ve occupied since 2020. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

In keeping with the settlement, which is presently being finalised, Haven View residents might be supplied with water from a borehole, solar-powered outdoors lights, a container for a soup kitchen, a septic tank for bathrooms, Wi-Fi sign, and fencing.

The settlement depends on the neighborhood not increasing, not constructing double-storey properties, and never making noise. Every household has additionally been promised R10,000, since a few of them needed to transfer their properties to make approach for the housing. They’ve already been paid R5,000.

Some individuals instructed GroundUp they’d declined to signal any settlement to not make a noise. Some additionally expressed scepticism concerning the deal, saying they’d by no means met the developer.

However a consultant of the event firm, who didn’t need his title printed, confirmed the small print of the settlement to GroundUp. He confirmed that the corporate wouldn’t attempt to take away the households from the land so long as the settlement isn’t breached.

Bernadette Rossouw has been negotiating on behalf of residents of the settlement. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

Edmin Fortune, who grew up in Ocean View, mentioned he and associates used to go to the Haven View space as children when it was simply largely bush.

Quickly after he arrange his home in 2020, regulation enforcement officers got here and broke it down. “As they moved out, we simply rebuilt,” he mentioned. However every time the home was demolished once more – it occurred about 4 instances.

Fortune mentioned he refused to vacate the land. “It’s about my democratic proper. Every particular person has the fitting to have land and a bit of property of his personal,” he mentioned.

Malvern Fredericks, a type of who needed to transfer his home, mentioned the cash offered was not enough and he needed to take cash from his pension to rebuild.

Malvern Fredericks needed to transfer his dwelling as a part of the settlement. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

However Rossouw mentioned further supplies had been offered to the households to rebuild their properties.

Resident Charles Jonathan mentioned life is significantly better than in Ocean View as a result of it’s quiet and everyone has numerous area. “You possibly can stay freely right here. There’s no gangsterism and combating right here. There’s no crime up right here,” mentioned Jonathan.

Life is extra peaceable in Haven View than in close by Ocean View, says Charles Jonathan. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

Water and sanitation have been a significant concern, resident Liezel Jellahrs mentioned. “Now we look forward to the rain. Even when our locations leak, we’re pleased. As a result of a minimum of we now have water,” mentioned Jellahrs. She mentioned as somebody who lived as a yard dweller since beginning, her high quality of life has improved in Haven View. “We have been bored with staying with individuals… I didn’t need my children to develop up and be yard dwellers additionally,” she mentioned. Jellahrs mentioned residents needed to see the written settlement with the property developer.

Rossouw mentioned there had been some delays finalising particulars equivalent to environmental approvals however the deal was resulting from be accomplished quickly. She mentioned water had been discovered, the borehole was being drilled, and water ought to circulation inside weeks.

She mentioned Haven View aimed to offer a protected place for weak, poor, and homeless individuals. “If you happen to don’t have a basis, you’re going to sink,” she mentioned.

Everybody has the fitting to a bit of land, says Edmin Fortune, who grew up in Ocean View. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp

This text was first printed on GroundUp right here.

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