Two months after residents from Sunny Acres caravan park claimed they were unlawfully evicted, calm has been restored after the park had a make-over.
Residents now benefit from 24-hour security by trained security guards which monitors access to the park.
Park owner, Vincent De Araujo, said the R1.7 million refurbishment included a braai and recreational
area, a play park for the children, new ablution facilities for men and women, a new kitchen fitted with stoves and washing-up facilities and prepaid electricity meters in each bungalow.
In June the Echo received calls from residents who claimed their water and electricity had been cut and they were being evicted without any notice to make space for a new residential development (“Upset over evictions,” Echo, June 7).
At the time, Mr De Araujo explained that the evictions were lawful and that residents had been given 90 days notice to evacuate their homes and the premises.
He said that due to a strong criminal element – including drug abuse, drug dealing, alcohol abuse and theft of cables -he had decided to evict certain residents.
Residents who were not involved in criminal activities would be relocated to another 4 000m2 area in the park which would be separated from the rest of the park by a brick wall, where the residential development would take place.
The new area has 32 bungalows, and residents have 24-hour access to hot water in the new ablution facilities.
The kitchen and ablution facilities are lit with automatic lighting that is switched on when movement is detected in order to save electricity.
Water to the ablution facilities, kitchen and bungalows is supplied by a borehole pumping into a 5000-litre JoJo tank.
The women’s ablution block is fitted with a bath and a kiddies’ basin.
“We don’t use any municipal water at the moment,” Mr De Araujo said.
Resident Pieter Fourie and his wife, Natasha, moved over to the new area with their three children, Pieter, 6, and twins, Jessica and Mary Ann, 7, on Tuesday July 16
Mr Fourie said the ablution facilities were more hygienic and it was nice to have access to hot water all the time.
Ms Fourie said the new environment offered a safe space for her children to play and they now also had a small yard.
Mr Fourie described Mr De Araujo as “hands-on”.
“You can speak to him about anything and nothing is too much trouble,” he said.
Another resident, Anna Heeger, moved into a new bungalow on Monday July 15.
She said she was pleased with her new environment, which she described as “drug free” and said the ablution facilities were clean and they now had access to electricity.
She said the new environment was much safer for the children who could play outside without her worrying about them.