In a tented limbo‚ 70 families wait ... and wait …

25 June 2018 - 07:00 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Nhlanhla Mabuza's little corner in the subdivided tent is crammed with buckets, stacked boxes, basins for washing, containers for water, a mattress and makeshift beds. Her cooking is done on a paraffin stove.
Nhlanhla Mabuza's little corner in the subdivided tent is crammed with buckets, stacked boxes, basins for washing, containers for water, a mattress and makeshift beds. Her cooking is done on a paraffin stove.
Image: Masi Losi

For more than a year displaced families have been forced to call two huge marquee tents home.

A very full home at that‚ since up to 30 families share a tent. Pitched on the dusty‚ disused Wembley Stadium in Turffontein‚ south of Johannesburg‚ it was going to be temporary lodgings while Joburg Metro tried to find alternative accommodation for them.

But this past Friday the city missed the deadline to move the former residents of Fattis Mansions in the CBD to better accommodation. They were evicted from Fattis Mansions‚ once a fashionable 12-storey block of flats that has in recent years fallen into ruin. The now-condemned building comprised 195 units – 177 flats and the rest shops and garages.

Community leader Albert Zulu‚ who left KwaZulu-Natal for Joburg in the hope of better jobs prospects‚ recalls how cold it was the day they were removed from Fattis Mansions.

“It was a very cold winter‚ also when the Red Ants evicted us‚” he says from his shared tent dwelling. The tent flaps‚ already showing wear and tear‚ provide scant protection from the natural – and criminal – elements.

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