South Africa: Evicted Farmworkers in Paarl South Tent Town Live in Hope of a Municipal Housing Solution

About 60 families have been living in canvas tents for almost three years at a caravan park in Paarl South. The farmworkers are among the 20,214 residents waiting for housing solutions from the municipality.

In the shade of a blue gum, Henning Gillespie stood overlooking an empty plot of land. He pointed to it and said, “I hope that’s our place one of these days.”

Gillespie had heard talk about Nutec prefabricated structures being built on that area of clear land soon. Behind him was a forest-like terrain. Interspersed between the tall trees were more than 30 green canvas tents – the homes of Gillespie and his neighbours.

About 60 families live in the New Orleans Caravan Park in Paarl South, in the Cape Winelands. The community has been waiting for the municipality to build Nutec houses for them since 2018.

Most of the families come from a property called Die Blou Huis in Paarl, which housed farmworkers. In 2018, the land on which Die Blou Huis stood was sold and the farmworkers living there were evicted.

It was agreed between the Drakenstein Municipality and the evictees in the Western Cape High Court that the evictees would be moved to…

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