Sun Valley Estates were orange growing farms owned by Whites. The land initially formed part of the Berlin Mission’s land holdings. In 1924 this fragment of land was sold.
The people, who occupied the farm long before the Berlin Mission acquired the land, were tenant labourers. They were gradually, forcibly, moved off their land by a process of ‘legal eviction’ as claimed by the Government. More ‘evictees’ arrived here during November 1985 and the rest arrived in April of the following year.
At Sun Valley Estates they encountered health problems and suffered from diseases like diarrhoea and vomiting. At travelling clinic came round once per month. Apart from health issues, unemployment was a huge problem and women survived on their meager savings which they had built up over the years.
One of the families recounted their removal saying they weren’t served with eviction notices. The farm manager informed them that they would be moved and soon after he arrived with two policemen who arrested them. They appeared before a magistrate the following week and charged with “illegal squatting”. The Commissioner gave them a letter of removal stating that all their possessions were undamaged in the move and that they could not claim for anything. They were compelled to sign the letter in a meeting called by the Commissioner and there was no negotiation. The people were resettled at Waaihoek and to their despair they lost their jobs and their properties without compensation.
One evictee who testified about the removal mentioned that, eventually, a new farmer appeared on their farm. He said that some of the people lived on the wrong side of the fence and instructed them to move to another side of the fence.
They complied and erected their houses on the other side of the fence, but despite this the farmer came with a White policeman to arrest them. The women were detained for six days and children were left by themselves. The case was dropped and they were given a warning to look for a place to stay. Afterwards they went back to Sun Valley and stayed there for twenty days on the magistrate’s permission. They went back to the magistrate for advice because they had no place to go and he suggested that they relocate to Waaihoek. A government truck came to fetch them and took them to Waaihoek. Sun Valley Estates which surrounded the Stendahl Mission.