Struggle For Shelter (2000): In the new South Africa ruthless councils are making poor families homeless. It is a tragic example of the brutal contrast between the third world and first world.
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A woman cries “don’t spray tear gas – we have a small baby!” This is becoming a common scene in South Africa’s poorest neighbourhoods, as council officials bring in the riot police to evict bad tenants. ‘Bad tenants’, says the Mayor of Chatsworth, Durban, are evicted for drugs and other illegal activities. But the tenants claim these allegations are fabricated and that the real reason they are being evicted is simply that they cannot afford the high rents. The Chatsworth Council cares little for such excuses and believes it is setting an example. “Everyone who sees an empty home wants to invade it,” says the Mayor. The evictees say that they are stripped of all rights and that their personal belongings are routinely stolen by the council. If need be they will fight their battle for shelter all the way to the high court.
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SABC Special Assignment – Ref. 0823