Residents of Symphony Way to MEC for Housing Office

8 01 2009

Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement

Wednesday 7 January, 2009 – For Immediate Release

On the 7th of January 2009, the community that stays on the pavement on Symphony Way, together with the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign, are going to 27 Wale Street.  We are going to find out when we will be allocated houses.  The MEC made promises to the people about houses, and we would like to find out what happened to these promises because his personal assistant was tasked to sort out houses for the people.  Prince Xanti Sicgawu also promised us that he would speed up the housing allocation process.  But still nothing has happened.  We are still waiting for the next meeting with him.  As we would like to get off the road, we would like the MEC and Prince Xanti to start the New Year by keeping these promises.


Evictions of Women and Children, Police Intimidation in Wes Bank

8 01 2009
Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
08 January, 2009

At least 20 families, mostly women and children, have been evicted from their homes in Wes Bank, Delft.  As has routinely been the case in other sections of Delft, the evictions were carried out under police intimidation and a heavy police presence.

On 18 December, ten police vans from the Mfuleni Police Station arrived at 10am in Wes Bank to evict a woman, her two daughters and granddaughter.  “We were treated like criminals,” she said.

After breaking down the door, police swore at her and another elderly woman who was present at the scene of the eviction.  A police officer reportedly also pushed the elderly woman.  They were instructed to leave the premises by 1pm.

She said that she, like other residents, left the house out of fear of the police.  Her possessions remained inside the house.  When she attempted later to return to retrieve her clothes, and other such items, police again came to the house, placed her in a police van and took her to the police station.  She is currently residing with family elsewhere; her possessions remain inside the house.

The woman lodged a complaint at the police station on 21 December, at which point police also swore at her.  She opened a case to obtain an interdict against the eviction, and will appear in the Ester River court next week, on 12 January 2009.

The woman had received a letter in October 2008 notifying her that if she did not move, a court order would be obtained for her eviction.  However, a court order was not obtained, but rather an interdict.  The other families evicted in the area were also removed by interdict. This is obviously an illegal and unjust new approach to evictions.

For more information, contact Aunty Jane 078 4031 302 and Magdelina 079 577 4169

VOC-FM: AEC calls for election boycott

8 01 2009
Posted on: 2009-01-07 06:57:14
Source: VOCFM

The South African government might be in for a surprise at this year’s general elections, as discontent campaigners are urging the impoverished communities around the country not to vote this year. Provincial coordinator of the Anti Eviction Campaign (AEC), Mcebisi Twalo, told VOC on Tuesday that the new Government is marginalising the poor.

‘Over the last 16 years the new Government has only serviced the BEE, black elite and their families, while the plight of the poor is ignored,’ he said. He criticised members of government that lived in townships during the struggle and have opted for the wealthier more developed suburban areas instead of giving back to their original communities.

The AEC said that they expected a very troubled run up to elections, couple with ‘chaos when the results of the elections are announced, and we know that no one will accept the results’. Twalo referred to the elections as a ‘power play between politicians’, one where the ‘needs of the poor do not even fit into the agenda.’  He urged all communities that found themselves inflicted by poverty and dire situations to boycott the elections in a bid to avoid what he called voting their own poverty.

The AEC accused all the parties contesting the elections this year of being corrupt and said that the South Africans were not able to trust their own government. Twalo accused the ruling African National Congress (ANC) of only furthering their own interest while promoting members of their family into powerful positions and selectively only granting certain people grants such as food parcels and housing.

He also lashed out at the newly formed Congress of the People (COPE), expressing his concern about its members ‘being in parliament for over 14 years and not doing anything for the poor.’  Another issued he raised was the lack of service delivery for theses under developed communities who Twalo said was not a priority for the government.

‘Everyone from the Police Department to the Court is against the poor’.  He suggested that the only solution to the on going plight of the poor was a complete revolution of the government that ‘needed to realise that sub economic communities would not tolerate being lied to.’

The Campaigns coordinator called on Archbishop Desmond Tutu – who last year publicly announced his unwillingness to vote – to join forces with the AEC and its alliance partners to take this matter as far as possible. VOC (Aisha Mouneimne)

Legal: Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

8 01 2009
Excerpt on South Africa
South African Constitutional Court
Various Occupiers v. City of Johannesburg and others, CCT 24/07
South African Constitutional Court

Facts: The City of Johannesburg has carried out forced evictions in the inner city in the context of the Johannesburg Inner City Regeneration Strategy (ICRS), aimed at creating an ‘African World Class City’ and attracting investment. The strategy includes the clearance of an estimated 235 ‘bad buildings’, which are regarded as being at the centre of developmental ‘sinkholes’. The Johannesburg City Council has obtained urgent eviction orders under the pretence of being concerned for the health and safety of residents. However, evictions have been carried out in the middle of the night and without notice. While conditions in many of the buildings are appalling, the procedures used by the municipality are grossly unfair, including the use of Apartheid-era laws and regulations. In addition, people are not consulted or offered any viable alternatives. In the name of safety and health in the buildings, residents have been made homeless and left on the streets to fend for themselves. The strategy affects approximately 67 000 residents of ‘bad buildings’. Read the rest of this entry »

Cape Times: Anti Eviction Campaign urges poor to boycott elections

8 01 2009
Note: The Anti-Eviction Campaign is in alliance with the Landless People’s Movement (its not called the Homeless People’s Movement)
January 05, 2009 Edition 1
Aziz Hartley
Source: Cape Times

THE Anti Eviction Campaign is planning to launch a national campaign calling on voters to boycott the general elections because, it says, the government has failed the poor and politicians cannot be trusted.

Mncedisi Twalo, a leader of the organisation in Gugulethu, said the campaign slogan would be, “No land, no house, no jobs – no votes”.

“We have been preparing for months and talking to our alliance partners, Abhahali Base Mjondolo in KwaZulu-Natal and the Homeless People’s Movement in Gauteng.

“The campaign is going to all nine provinces. As the poor people of this country, we will not be voting for our further suffering, joblessness and homelessness.

“We are going out there to convince all poor communities that elections are all about power-mongering and promoting politicians.”

Twalo said the Anti Eviction Campaign was active in 46 communities across the Western Cape and represented thousands of homeless and disadvantaged families left in the lurch by politicians.

“Our main message to politicians is that we feel, as the poor, we have been left on our own. We will not participate in what is now a neo-colonialist state. We will keep pressuring whoever takes up public office.”

Jane Roberts, an Anti Eviction Campaign leader in Delft, said about 130 families evicted from incomplete houses they invaded in December 2007 were continuing to live in squalor on the pavement of Symphony Way.

She said nothing had come of numerous promises made by housing officials.

“We are going out across the Western Cape … to urge people not to vote. Politicians make promises and not a single political party can be trusted.

“Some people were told by politicians that an election boycott meant their votes would go to some other party and would be lost, but we are telling them that this is not so.”

Roberts said five Symphony Way families had been given formal homes, but the others had a bleak festive season.

Symphony Way resident Karima Linneveldt said three of the shacks burned down on Saturday morning, leaving four families homeless.

“We can’t continue like this,” she said.

“About 24 babies have been born here in tough conditions.”