Monday, April 5, 2010

Cape Town's Poor Outraged Over 'Temporary' Housing Area

Street people displaced from Cape Town streets are calling their forced relocation like living in a concentration camp. The temporary housing area was built in 2008 to temporarily house the homeless, but residents say the makeshift township is little more than a bandage on an endemic problem in the city. Upwards of 15,000 people are estimated to live in this grouping of shacks, which the city says was designed to house only about 1,600 people.

This is Tin Can Town, or Blikkiesdorp, described by the mayor of Cape Town as a "temporary relocation area" (TRA), but by its residents as a concentration camp. Many say they were forcibly evicted from their former homes and moved here against their will. And for this they blame one thing: the football World Cup.

"It's a dumping place," said Jane Roberts, who lives in the sparsely furnished structure known as M49. "They took people from the streets because they don't want them in the city for the World Cup. Now we are living in a concentration camp."

Life in 'Tin Can Town' for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup
April 1, 2010