‘We want houses not ‘hokkies’’

Councillor Grant Twigg awaits the memorandum.

Scores of people of all ages marched in Scottsdene last week demanding land and housing and the sacking of ward councillor Grant Twigg.

The march on Thursday April 19, was arranged after nearly 500 families were evicted from the unfinished Sunset Village flats owned by Calgro M3 Consortium, on March 28 (“Illegal occupants evicted,” April 4, Northern News).

The case was postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, April 20.

Peter Syster, a community activist and march leader, said he was unhappy it would now only be heard on Friday May 11 after the judge deemed it “not an urgent matter”.

More than 100 people walked from the Sunset Village flats chanting, “We want houses not ‘hokkies’”, “We are humans not dogs” and “Grant Twigg must fall”.

Adults and children held placards and elderly women and disabled residents sat on the back of a bakkie to support the march.

The march ended in front of the Einkendal library, where Mr Twigg, guarded by police, awaited the memorandum.

The crowd continued chanting and singing, “F*kof Grant Twigg F*kof.” Many of the residents became angry when they saw him and one women could be heard shouting, “Can I live in your house, while you live in my ‘hok’?”

Many other residents accused him of “selling their land”.

Mr Syster read the two-page memorandum before handing it to Mr Twigg.

Among other things, it demanded an explanation of how Calgro M3 Consortium had been granted the rights to buy land which the marchers said had been set aside for low-cost housing.

Mr Syster told Northern News that residents expected to be consulted about the evictions first and then have space provided for them.

He said: “We are in a crises; they should come and check the poor conditions we are living under. Our outside toilets cannot be used and are unhygienic. Nobody is being sent to clean it.”

Valencia Jansen, 46, said she had been on the waiting list for housing since 2000 and now shared a room with six relatives, the youngest being eight months old.

“Many others have received their homes and had applied after me,” she said.

“When I enquire, I get told that my papers are not in order, but they are and all my papers are certified.”

Mr Twigg said the protesters would receive a response to the memorandum as requested, but he did not respond to further questions sent by email.