By Max Rambau, CORC
Red Ants offload belongings of forcefully removed families including building materials
I went to Malala Informal Settlement together with two sub-regional community leaders in the West Rand to meet the community. There were reports that some officials from the Mogale City Municipality had come to the area and loud-hailed, telling the community that they would be moved from the area but it was not indicated by these officials where the community would be taken to. The Malala Informal Settlement is situated next to the West Rand Mine. The families were mostly retrenched mine workers who were evicted from the mining complex and hostel and they then invaded some land nearby and settled there.
We are planning to arrange a meeting with the Mogale City Municipality to get clarity on the rumour of relocation of the Malala community.
We then went to Tudor Shaft (Studio Shaft) Informal Settlement, also in Mogale City were evictions are being carried out. We met with one of the community leaders, Mr. Jefrrey Ramoruti. Studio Shaft or Malal’ayiveze, as the community calls it, is near the Kagiso Township in Mogale City.
Mr. Moruti informed us that they have been in the area since 1995 since they were moved from Malala Informal Settlement. He said that the community should have been moved to RDP houses at Sinqobile but only a few individuals have moved there. Most have not benefitted and they are still staying at Studio Shaft. There have been promises that the community would be relocated some other place but that has not happened.
On Thursday (24/02/2011) some 35 families were forcefully removed by the “Red Ants” to an un-serviced area without toilets. Community leaders were not consulted about this relocation. Shacks were demolished and goods and belongings were loaded onto trucks and taken to the new area. This area they were moved to is next to some firms in Chamdor.
In the new area, the Mogale City Municipality has allocated 200 stands (one-roomed shacks). Also, some families were moved from Soul City Informal Settlement to this area.
There is no water in the new area and the mobile toilets were just being offloaded when we arrived
The Mogale City Municipality only consulted the community on Tuesday for relocation at Studio Shaft. They told people not to go to work the following day, Wednesday as they would be moved on this day. This did not happen and instead the “Red Ants” arrived on Thursday to carry out the forced removals.
When this happened some families were not at their homes and they returned to find out that their shacks had been demolished and their goods taken by trucks to the new area. In the process, furniture was damaged.
We then went to the area to see what was happening and what the conditions were.
When we arrived there we found some families busy building their shacks and their furniture and other belongings were just thrown on the ground by the “Red Ants”.