Legacy in ruins

Alexis Serra, Steurhof

Many of the original senior claimants who returned to Steurhof Estate, “home sweet home”, after forced removals in the 1970s believed that their return would leave a lasting legacy of historical reverence and value for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Sadly, there will be nothing to remember, as the face of Steurhof Estate continues to change and not for the intended purpose, when title deeds were handed over to the claimants in 2016.

Returning home to Steurhof Estate for senior claimants was supposed to be happy days, but the ongoing traumatisation of being subjected to adults fighting in the streets, living next door to drug houses, being victimised, witnessing law enforcement raiding drug houses, excessive noise nuisance and neighbours partying into the early hours of the morning, which often escalates into fights, fuelled by drugs and alcohol is reminiscent of what they endured whilst forced to live in Lavender Hill.

On a daily bases one is privy to children growing up on the streets, hungry and trapped in a perpetuated cycle of self-destruct and, like their parents, alcohol, dagga, drugs, anti-social behaviour, lack of schooling and early childhood pregnancy robs them of a brighter future.

Some parents in Steurhof Estate don’t want to change and remain trapped in the mindset and belief that their questionable lifestyle is indicative to their culture and are blinded to the fact that new identities and values are being constructed through the “born free” generations, successful young parents and grandparents, who play an exemplary role in their lives.

Steurhof Estate is starting to see the emerging of young and senior residents with a different mindset and value system, selling their properties and relocating to greener pastures, because the future of Steurhof Estate is far removed from the legacy, senior claimants believed they would leave behind for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.