A shack's in my yard - and it's hacking my water

16 May 2018 - 07:00 By Farren Collins
Ivory Park residents Elizabeth Matseba and her daughter Tabang Matseba stand next to a shack that used to be in their yard before the fencing was moved back by illegal land invaders demanding the space where the shack is situated.
Ivory Park residents Elizabeth Matseba and her daughter Tabang Matseba stand next to a shack that used to be in their yard before the fencing was moved back by illegal land invaders demanding the space where the shack is situated.
Image: Masi Losi

Good fences make good neighbours, and for a community in Ivory Park in Midrand the reverse of the analogy is played out almost daily.

Thabang Matseba remembers how she grew up eating peaches from a tree in their backyard.

But today that same tree and her mother’s storage shed have been claimed as the front yard of a new neighbour. Their new neighbours are Black First Land First members, who have demarcated patches of land for new stands.

Since the start of the year, the empty land behind their home has been occupied by BFLF members. The Ivory Park community has up to now used sections of this kilometre-long stretch behind their houses for different purposes, including gardening. The community also built a structure for church services.

The Matsebas, and their neighbours on the 1km stretch of road, are in a tense standoff with the group who have erected close to 100 shacks right behind their homes, and taken down their fences and walls to make space for new 10m x 20m stands.

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