Scottsdene squatters in dire need of help

Families live under black bags and wooden structures on Long Street in Scottsdene.

Families squatting on Long Street in Scottsdene are asking neighbouring communities to donate food, water and other basic needs.

The 17 families, including several children, are living under sails and makeshift wooden shelters and are in dire need, according to community leader Peter Syster.

In March, 500 people were evicted from the unfinished Sunset Village flats in Scottsdene (“Illegal occupants evicted,” Northern News, April 4).

Most returned to their backyard homes, while others occupied the pavement, demanding the City of Cape Town consider them for homes.

Mr Syster said the squatters had no work and their children were begging for money to buy food.

Occasionally a good Samaritan would drop off some food and 5-litre bottles of water but that wasn’t enough to sustain all the families, he said.

“Other residents in the community allow them to use their bathrooms to wash and do their business,” he said.

Mr Syster plans to ask the provincial Department of Human Settlements to grant housing subsidies to the squatters so they can move into the Sunset Village flats once they are completed.

One of the squatters, Loriaan Croy, said she and other women walked the neighbourhood, begging for water for cooking, washing dishes and ablutions.

“We are always hoping that it rains, so that we don’t have to bother other residents. We boil water over a fire then we also use it to wash ourselves,” she said.

She said when some of the squatters had enough money they would contribute towards a big pot of food, which the children would be fed from first.

If you would like to help the families, call Mr Syster at 074 836 9030.