KEETMANSHOOP - The municipality of Keetmanshoop says it will start with the process of evicting illegal occupants from its municipal-owned properties.
A Keetmanshoop resident, who is facing eviction, expressed his bitterness to be placed on the streets with his family.
John Kennedy and his family currently live in one of the semi-detached houses in Tseiblaagte suburb. “It came as a shock to me when I was informed today by the deputy sheriff of the court to move out of the house immediately,” he remarked.
The resident added that his grandparents and parents stayed in the house where he also grew up. Kennedy continued that after he received the first eviction letter from the municipality he approached the CEO Desmond Basson, who informed him to apply for an erf or land which he did.
“He then told me that many other residents apart from me would be evicted from these houses. I did accordingly apply for land during August 2105 whereby I was put on a waiting list, until today,” said Kennedy. “He (Basson) promised to come back to me on the issue but it never happened. Where will I go with my elder family members and kids staying in this house if evicted?” Approached for comment, Keetmanshoop municipality spokesperson Dawn Kruger explained that there are two types of semi-detached houses on the municipal property list, including typically townhouses meant for staff in Tseiblaagte as well as houses in Krönlein usually reserved for the town’s elderly.
Kruger elaborated that a municipal resolution was adopted in 2018 to that effect. “Upon inspecting these houses we found that there are young people staying in Krönlein and who are practising illegal activities and not paying for basic municipal services whilst people not employed by the council are staying in the Tseiblaagte houses,” she emphasised.
The spokesperson continued that based on the inspections carried out it was decided that the houses in Krönlein would be allocated specifically to vulnerable groups, namely single mothers with disabled, schoolgoing children and older residents.
“Council then served all the illegal occupants of these houses with eviction letters whereby most signed it, agreeing to move out,” said Kruger.
She added that the municipality thereafter instructed their lawyers to institute proceedings of eviction orders against tenants who refused to sign the eviction notices. “Only four residents refused to vacate these houses in the two suburbs and they were accordingly served with eviction orders on 25 March 2018 for the first time,” she explained.
According to her, although two of them had signed none of the four residents has vacated. Referring to the case of Kennedy she informed New Era that his mother, who stayed in the house before, has moved into a new house under the mass housing programme whilst he refused to vacate the house.