Oppose the ‘Slums Act’

7 03 2009

This statement was put together in the 24 hours following the publication of an article in the Witness newspaper written by an official in the KZN Housing Department in support of the Slums Act. It was not possible to contact all potential signatories in 24 hours.

Oppose the ‘Slums Act’

25 and 26 February 2009

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government has passed legislation[1] affecting the lives and rights of shack dwellers. The shack-dweller movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, has challenged this law and will take their case to the Constitutional Court. But after a provincial judge ruled against the movement’s first challenge, an article by the head of media services for the Department of Housing (published in the Witness newspaper on 24th February 2009) said:

“Legal representatives of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement, probably without proper analysis of the act, tried to portray this important legislation … as an inhumane and unconstitutional legislation designed to allow the government to embark on irresponsible evictions of homeless people. To further its purpose, the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement has deliberately ignored our consultative and partnership approach since 1994. … Additional research would have highlighted the fact that the government, Slum Dwellers International and other associations representing homeless people have signed partnership agreements to work together since 2004. … As all provinces move to finalise their acts there is no reason to fear”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Siyanda Win in the Durban High Court

7 03 2009
Friday, 06 March 2009
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press

Siyanda Win in the Durban High Court

The Struggle Against Corruption and Transit Camps Continues

Today 8 orders were granted in favour of Abahlali baseMjondolo in the Durban High Court. The orders that have been granted are a breakthrough. We can call this a landmark judgment because the orders provide for judicial oversight of the new and entirely notorious phenomenon of the transit camp – also known by the government as decant areas in Jo’burg, as temporary relocation areas in Cape Town and as amatins, blikkies and government shacks by the people. However while it is progress to get judicial oversight over the transit camps our aim is to eradicate them entirely. We will not claim victory until this has been achieved.

The background to this matter is that residents of the Siyanda settlement had been told that they would have to be moved for the construction of a new free way. They were promised houses in the nearby Kalula development and they agreed to accept relocation on the basis of this promise. However the houses promised to them were corruptly allocated. Transport MEC Bheki Cele then sought the forced removal of the Siyanda shack dwellers to the nearby Richmond Farm transit camp. Residents were offered no guarantees about conditions in the transit camp, about the duration of their stay there or where, if anywhere, they would be sent next. They were also subject to ongoing and armed intimidation by the state.

Transit camps often look like concentration camps with razor wire fencing, spot lights, single entrances and 24 hour police guards. Residents are often highly controlled in these places as if they were in prisons. In most cases these camps are far from the cities where people live, work and school. People are taken there against their will with no guarantees about the conditions there, how long they will have to be kept there and where, if anywhere, they will be taken next.

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Solidarity: Sebokeng Community Policing Forum members murder community activist

7 03 2009

6 March 2009

The Radical Youth Network (RYN), along with the Anti Privatisation Forum (APF) strongly condemns the killing of Teboho “Diventsha” Tsotetsi by members of the Sebokeng Community Policing Forum (CPF). It is not the first time the community of Zone 20 in Sebokeng has experienced attacks from the people they claim to be protecting them. Sebokeng Police station has become a haven for thugs and gangsters!
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‘They forget us as soon as they’re at the top’

7 03 2009

MMANALEDI MATABOGE

Mar 07 2009 06:00

Source: Mail and Guardian

From the outside, Badirile township in Brandvlei, Randfontein, looks like any other reconstruction and development programme (RDP) housing project that has become one of the ANC-led government’s marks of achievement. Read the rest of this entry »