Call to fund Steenvilla residents

The Retreat/ Steenvilla Civic Association is asking residents to help raise funds for the Steenvilla tenants who are facing eviction.

The tenants will likely be homeless before Christmas Day if much needed funds are not raised to help them pay arrears on rent they owe to Sohco, the manager of the Steenvilla social housing complex.

Two weeks ago, on Thursday November 23, the Red Ants Eviction Services removed the furniture and belongings of several residents but the eviction was put on hold (“Sohco eviction now a stand-off”, Southern Mail, November 30).

Previous attempts to remove the tenants had also been stopped after protests and court action.

Steenvilla residents have asked Sohco for leniency and a chance to pay arrears.

Mark Solomons, chairperson for the Retreat/Steenberg Civic Association, said they are asking for help for those tenants who have made arrangements with Sohco to pay their rent and arrears but are unable to do so due to unemployment, illness or because they only receive a pension fund or social grant.

“We want to assist those people who really can’t afford the rent and arrears. What happens is that those who have been unable to pay went to Sohco and asked for arrangements to be made. Their arrears were added to the rent and people who were previously paying R800 now pay much more because of the outstanding payments,” he said.

The association is aware that there are residents who can afford to pay their rent but simply refused to.

“We want to make it clear that we will only help those who cannot pay the money they owe because of social issues.

“Therefore, we as the association are appealing and pleading with residents to donate whatever they can to assist these people so that they don’t have to face a festive season out on the streets and back at informal settlements. Any donations, even if it’s as little as R10, would go towards assisting those tenants in need,” he said.

Anyone willing to make any donations can do so by paying money into the Retreat/Steenberg Civic Association bank account.

If you have any questions or need any more information, call Mark Solomons on 082 258 7944.