Building hijacking foiled at Communicare property in Bothasig after swift action (6 June)

6 June 2021 Late Friday night, 5 June 2021 Communicare received reports from tenants that the security guards at our Bothasig Gardens residential complex were being held at gunpoint while a mob of about 50 building hijackers stormed a block of apartments. The apartment Block is brand new, part of Communicare’s social housing development in which 314 new apartments are being built. The Block in question is nearly completed with new tenants expected to move in during June and July as the apartments are completed. SAPS were called after the mob descended on the complex at about 9 pm on Saturday, 5 June 2021. The guards were held hostage in the security huts, they were robbed of their phones and radios. Doors to 17 units were damaged in an attempt to gain access to the units. This may delay their handover to the low-income families who were looking forward to moving in before the end of winter. Swift action by SAPS, the neighbourhood watch and the vigilance of our tenants in Bothasig resulted in 28 arrests. Communicare can confirm that 25 people were charged with housebreaking and will appear in court tomorrow, 7 June 2021. The police are still investigating the allegations of assault. The attempted hijacking follows a High Court order on 24 May 2021 to evict 40 people who, on about 2 March 2021, had violently overruled the security guards at the Goedehoop residential complex in Brooklyn. The Court ordered that the hijackers be immediately evicted from the premises where they have already been living illegally, rent-free for 3 months. The mob that attempted hijacking the units in Bothasig Gardens adopted the same modis operandi as those in Brooklyn. This points to an organised crime syndicate that are mobilising to hijack and vandalise buildings while intimidating tenants. [...]

2021-06-07T14:30:15+00:00Press Release|

Update – SAPS watch while illegal occupiers hijack building in Brooklyn ( 14 March 2021 )

14 March 2021 Update-SAPS watch while illegal occupiers hijack building in Brooklyn On Friday 12 March 2021 Communicare staff, security guards and tenants battled from 9pm to the early hours of Saturday morning to prevent lawful tenants from being assaulted and to secure their property from illegal occupation. All while SAPS from Maitland, Cape Town and Milnerton stood by and watched the violence unfolding without taking any action to stop the illegal activity. Communicare has experienced attempts to illegally occupy its units at Goedehoep Rental Complex in Brooklyn since 2 March. At the time the illegal occupations were reported to Maitland Police who refused to take any action to protect property and legal tenants. SAPS failure to act has now resulted in escalating violence and 24 apartments in the complex being occupied by the trespassers. Several violent scuffles broke out between a group of about 40 people led by 2 tenants from another of Communicare’s properties. Tenants are generally law-abiding and Communicare will not tolerate tenants and others breaking the law. Security guards were attacked with bottles. Bins were burnt, doors to tenants’ apartments were broken and cars were damaged by the crowd who were intent to violently occupy the vacant units. Members of the crowd threatened some tenants and said they would return to burn down the units and set tenants alight. SAPS stood by and watched all this unfold and refused to take any action despite pleas from tenants and Communicare. In one incident SAPS instructed a security guard to allow the illegal occupiers to move into the vacant units. SAPS claims that Communicare must apply to the courts under the Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) Act. However, the people who were trespassing are not tenants or occupants being removed, they were storming the properties in the [...]

2021-06-07T14:13:17+00:00Press Release|

Statement on a letter from the Ruyterwacht Community Association (8 March 2021)

8 March 2021 COMMUNICARE’S RESPONSE TO OPEN LETTER Statement on a letter from the Ruyterwacht Community Association “There is nothing illegal about the acquisition or sale of land in Ruyterwacht. About 85% of property has already been sold since the 1980s. Communicare (and its fully owned subsidiary, goodfind Properties) is the registered and legal owner of property which we are selling. Ruyterwacht is not a social housing development regulated by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). However, Communicare has been working with government to secure two finance opportunities for tenants. Some tenants may qualify for the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP). The second option is a non-finance linked subsidy, which we would like to access for tenants 60 years and older, and those with permanent disabilities. These are the two government subsidies that may be available. There is no other subsidy available to pay for the transfer of land or property to existing tenants. We understand the deep desire many tenants feel to own their own properties. The legacy of apartheid prevented this for many. Communicare cannot reverse this legacy but we are embarking on the sale of houses, at discounted prices to some tenants, as a great opportunity to help address this. We have invited the Ruyterwacht Community Association to meet us so we can understand who they represent and how we can address their concerns constructively.” -Megan Lennert, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Communicare. Download Press Release

2021-05-04T23:50:07+00:00Press Release|

Statement on the illegal invasion of units ( 5 March 2021 )

5 March 2021 Statement on the illegal invasion of units Communicare condemns the actions of those who violently forced their way into 18 apartments at our Goedehoep Rental Complex in Brooklyn on the 2ndand 3rdof March 2021. Trespassers used crowbars to force their way onto the apartments which were being prepared for new tenants to move in. It is important to note that some of the trespassers included women and children. The trespassers welded the security gates of the apartments shut, to lock themselves in. Their actions caused much distress to our lawful tenants, especially tenants whose apartments were also forced open while they were not home. The illegal invasions were reported to the Maitland SAPS who refused to assist Communicare. We have reported the misconduct of the police,to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Provincial Police Commissioner. Urgent action was taken to protect innocent tenants, especially the elderly who have been traumatised by the invasion. Communicare had no option but to remove the illegal trespassers and reclaim its property. This follows the invasion of 3 other free-standing houses in the area. We are sympathetic to the severe housing crisis, but we cannot allow illegal occupation of our premises. Sadly, it appears that women and children are used to front this illegal activity. Communicare’s security guards are on-site to restore order and keep tenants safe, especially the elderly. Download Press Release

2021-05-04T23:46:28+00:00Press Release|

Removal of trespassers from Communicare’s property: unit 28 Ysterplaat, Brooklyn (14 February 2021)

14 February 2021 Removal of trespassers from Communicare’s property:unit 28 Ysterplaat, Brooklyn On Sunday evening (7 February 2021), Communicare received notification from residentsin the area and its security company, that there were suspicious movements around Unit 28 Ysterplaat in Brooklyn. Specifically, residents were concerned that the property was about to be occupied. On further investigation, it was found that three armed males and one female had broken into the property. Communicare thereafter opened a break-in and trespassing case at the Maitland offices of the South African Police Service (SAPS; Case Number available upon request). We subsequently advised the trespassers to leave the premises and alerted the SAPS that we would be removing them. On the evening of Tuesday, 9th of February, a security task team, including Servest was assembled, to initiate the removal. The security team found a security gate welded shut to prevent entry into the unit. One female was subsequently removed from the premises in the presence of a female SAPS officer. She refused to provide identification documents to the SAPS and the security team.As the story developed, the woman was identified as Zuzeka Apollis, who is a former tenant of Communicare.No children were present at the time of the removal. This incident has culminated to the reported actions on Saturday of handing a memorandum to the Maitland police and opening of a case against the organisation. In that sense, the organisation will have to let the lawtake its course. There seems to be a concerted campaign to illegally occupy our buildings in the area, and this is just one of the incidents. It is important to note, that all 4 individuals were not Communicare tenants and for this reason, this could notbe classified as an eviction, but rather a removal of illegal occupants. Communicare continues to [...]

2021-05-04T23:42:54+00:00Press Release|

Statement on current status on the redevelopment of Welverdiend (26 January 2021)

26 January 2021 Statement on current status on the redevelopment of Welverdiend Communicare has made progress on the planned redevelopment of one of its properties, Welverdiend in Rondebosch. Tenants were informed in October 2019 about Communicare’s plan to relocate them to suitable accommodation of their choice within our portfolio as a result of the decision to demolish the ageing property with failing infrastructure. Communicare plans to redevelop the property into affordable rental units. Finding new homes for tenants Communicare’s key priority was finding new homes for tenants particularly the frail and elderly. We anticipated that the move would be stressful and an emotional experience for the elderly. For several months we offered vacant units, at no extra costs, to the elderly, disabled or for single moms in our nearby properties. Communicare provided ongoing support for tenants through the entire relocation process. Tenants were taken to view available units in the portfolio and could choose the accommodation that was most suitable for their needs. Communicare then helped tenants to pack and arranged for removals companies to transport their belongings to their new homes. Tenants were moved to accommodation within a 10km radius of Welverdiend in the Southern Suburbs to maintain a sense of community. However, a few tenants have chosen to move to Bothasig which is a bit further. There are 59 tenants who have successfully moved to other accommodation. There are 39 tenants currently living at Welverdiend with 18 scheduled to relocate soon. That leaves 21 tenants who are yet to make a decision. Current tenants in Welverdiend Communicare is currently engaging with tenants who haven’t yet taken up alternative accommodation offered at no extra costs. Some tenants are reluctant to move due to the disruption of relocating from Rondebosch while others feel that Communicare should not demolish the [...]

2021-05-04T23:31:33+00:00Press Release|

Update on eviction notice to building hijackers at Albatros

12 December 2020 Update on eviction notice to building hijackers at Albatros On 30 October 2020, the Court ordered the eviction of those illegally occupying 12 units in Albatros, a block of flats belonging to Communicare. The Court gave the occupantsuntil14 December to vacate the premises. The Sheriff of the Court will thereafter evict all those who refuse to leave. Regrettably, none of the occupants have moved out despite the court giving them more than a months’ notice. If the apartments are not vacated by the date specified by the Court the occupant will be contravening the Court order. The Sheriff of the Court will then step in to implement the Court order by evicting those who insist on unlawfully occupying the units. Communicare has no jurisdiction over the Sheriff or the implementation of the Court order and is not aware when the eviction will occur. Communicare has no authority to evict illegal occupiers. That is the decision of the Court. “Communicare has offered the occupants the opportunity to sign leases and become legal tenants. This was rejected. It is unfortunate but there is nothing more Communicare can do.The law will now have to take its course,” said Anthea Houston, CEO of Communicare. Download Press Release

2021-05-04T23:21:01+00:00Press Release|

Statement on Eviction Order for Albatros Building Hijackers (3 November 2020)

3 November 2020 Court grants eviction order for Albatros building hijackers Communicare experienced attempts to hijack several of its properties in Cape Town over the last two years. The actions of these parties were reported to the police who have brought charges of burglary and trespassing against them and for which they were arrested and appeared in court. In March last year the High Court also interdicted the individuals involved from unlawfully occupying more units and from inciting others to do so. Locks to buildings werecut, unarmed security guards were forcedat gunpoint to hand over keys while others were violently attacked onvarious premises. This violence resulted in certain unknown parties moving into eleven units at our Albatros apartment complex in August 2019. The complex is located in Thornton and is registered and managed by goodfind Properties, a company fully owned by Communicare. Communicare applied to the High Court for an order to have the occupants removed from the property and the apartments returned to our control. The issue has been pending in the Court for more than a year and began long before South Africa went into lockdown. On Friday 30 October 2020, we finally had the opportunity to present the facts of the Albatros unit hijackings to the Court. The Court found that the occupation of these units was illegal. The court issued an order giving the occupiers until the 14th December 2020 tomove out of the units in a dignified way or to face an eviction by the Sheriff of the Court thereafter. The apartments range from one to three bedrooms. The people involved have not paid for the benefit of residing in these spacious apartments which they have unfairly occupied for over one year. They have also repeatedly made illegal connections to water and electricity services, [...]

2021-05-04T23:16:03+00:00Press Release|

Statement on the Albatros building hijacking(29 October 2020)

29 October 2020 Statement on the Albatros building hijacking Communicare experienced attempts to hijack several of its properties in Cape Town over the last two years. The actions of these parties were reported to the police who have brought charges of burglary and trespassing against them and for which they were arrested and appeared in court. In March last year the High Court also interdicted the individuals involved from unlawfully occupying more units and from inciting others to do so. Communicare applied to the High Court for an order to have the occupants removed from the property and the apartments returned to our control. The issue has been pending in the Court for more than a year and began long before South Africa went into lockdown. The court date to hear this matter is now set for Friday 30 October 2020. We are pleased that we will finally have the opportunity to present the facts to the Court and to have justice take its course. Locks to buildings have been cut, unarmed security guards were overpowered and held at gunpoint to hand over keys while others were violently attacked on our various premises. This violence resulted in certain unknown parties moving into eleven units at our Albatros apartment complex in August 2019. The complex is located in Thornton and is registered and managed by goodfind Properties, a company fully owned by Communicare. The apartments range from one to three bedrooms. The people involved have not paid for the benefit of residing in these spacious apartments which they have been unfairly occupying for over one year. They have also repeatedly made illegal connections to water and electricity services, while other tenants pay for these services. While our tenants are generally honest law-abiding people, it has been disappointing to note that [...]

2021-05-04T23:10:16+00:00Press Release|

Response to Article (Thornton Residents Case Postponed) 8 May 2020

8 May 2020 Dear Odwa, Your article entitled “Thornton resident’s case postponed” on page 3 of the Cape Times on 8 May 2020 refers. I am concerned about consistent inaccurate reporting by Independent Newspapers on Communicare. The current article is a case in point. I wish topoint out the following inaccuracies: 1. The headline state that the case was postponed. There was no case. Communicare met with the judge in chambers. That is all that happened. The statement is clear about this. 2. The story consistently refers to “tenants” at Albatross. These are not tenants. These are people who illegally hijacked a building and unlawfully occupied it. A criminal case has been lodged. The statement is clear about this. 3. Communicare has noted your repeated use of Neville Petersen as a sole source of information who has been discredited for peddling incorrect information about Communicare yet you consistently use him as a sole source. Have you verified any of his claims? This is was brought to the attention of Independent Newspapers in a case before your own ombuds which you lost. The statement is clear about this. 4. Mr Petersen claims to represent the Communicare Tenant Beneficiaries. We have never heard of this organisation. You may have detected a trend of Mr Petersen appointing himself to non-existent organisations. Have you checked if such an organisation exists and who they represent? 5. You claim that our tenants are harassed. What evidence do you have to support your claim of harassment? 6. Note that Communicare is not a purely social housing institution. Only 2 of our complexes are social housing as regulated by the SHRA. Drommedaris Pilot Project -first occupied in 2010 and Bothasig Gardens Phase 2 -first occupied in 2012. Combined, these are 339 units. This constitutes 10% of all [...]

2020-05-25T12:43:51+00:00Press Release|
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