Richmond land occupiers given refuge in preschool

The eThekwini municipality repeatedly demolishes their shacks located near a river

| By

People have been given refuge in the Lindokuhle Preschool in Richmond as their shacks are repeatedly demolished. Photos: Tsoanelo Sefoloko.

About 120 people, mostly women, have taken refuge in the Lindokuhle Preschool in Richmond, Durban as their shacks are repeatedly demolished by the eThekwini Municipality.

The group occupied land on Richmond farm, opposite Midway Mall, near a river, in July. But since October, they say the municipality comes twice a week to break down their structures. They say the municipal officials confiscate their possessions and building material, and sometimes take their food.

Each time the occupiers take refuge at the preschool, all of them sleeping under one roof in the open space.

β€œI have decided to help them whenever they are in need of a place to sleep,” said Lindokuhle Preschool owner Zinhle Zungu.

She said she decided to help after her sister, Khumbuzile, one of the occupiers, was shot with rubber bullets three weeks ago.

Gugu Ndlela, secretary of Richmond occupiers, said, β€œI hope the municipality officials can understand us – that we are occupying the land because we really need to build our shacks as we cannot afford to pay rent anymore.”

She said a number of the original land occupiers have given up and gone back to their backyard rentals.

ANC Ward 38 Councillor Muzi Thusi said there was a community meeting last Thursday to explain the danger of building so close to the river. He said in the April 2022 floods a child drowned near the site.

Thusi said the municipality lacks vacant land. He said he has told the occupiers to come to his office and he will add them to the housing list.

The occupation at Richmond farm opposite Midway Mall.

TOPICS:  Housing Land

Next:  Any parent is entitled to four months parental leave, rules High Court

Previous:  Sand mining company appeals against refusal of water licence in Philippi

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.