Thirteen years after an ANC led Government came into power promising new homes for millions of the country’s poor south Africa still faces a housing crisis. Millions still live in squatter camps. The Government has set an agenda to provide adequate housing for every one by 2014.In my quest to understand this issue I joined the dreaded Red ants as they removed shack dwellers from a camp.
There are hundreds of people living in squatter camps with no proper house. Water, power and sanitation are elusive in this kind of environment
The Infamous squad of red ants are currently moving out hundreds of people living in shacks around the country. Mostly they have a commander called the Sheriff who runs the operation
A shack could be a small tin house measuring 3 meter by 3 meter and occupied by a family of 4 or more. The red ants arrive early in the morning and take the residents by surprise demolishing their shacks and removing their belongings
Sometimes there is fierce resistance from the occupants and Police have to be called in like in Durban Deep squatter camp when Police had to shoot in the air to disperse the residents who were resisting being moved out of their shacks
Residents take it upon themselves to arm themselves and fight the Red ants. Their mission is protect the only home they have lived to know.
8 year old Niko Mkabelo a Mozambican immigrant looks after the family's household items after they have been thrown out by the red ants.
When the shacks have been demolished and one looks at the household items thrown all over it’s evidence that the shack dwellers aspire to live a descent life and they have aspirations and needs like any other human being.