Frontpage Argus: ‘Why we refuse to vote’

21 04 2009

Argus - Why we won't voteArgus - Why we won't vote 2

April 21, 2009 Edition 2
Staff Reporters and Sapa

A COMMUNITY living on the fringes of Cape Town is sick and tired of being used by politicians, and won’t vote in tomorrow’s elections.

The Symphony Way pavement dwellers, who set up house on the pavement of Delft Street and are refusing to budge until they get proper homes, have accused political parties of trying to bribe them with offers of help only during election time.

The residents, wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan “No Houses, No Land, No Vote”, said Cope went as far as to offer to provide an advocate to help them in their court battle against their eviction.

There are no election posters here.

Anti-Eviction Campaign secretary Kareemah Linneveldt said they told parties not to put up posters because they would have no interest in elections until they had proper housing.

“For 13 months we have lived on the pavement and not a single politician visited us. Now everyone is offering us help,” she said.

The Symphony Way residents were back yard dwellers who illegally occupied newly built houses in Delft before moving to the pavement.

Of the Cope offer, Linneveldt said: “We were told that if we won the case, we should say Cope won it for us, and that we should wear their T-shirts and support them.”

News of their planned stayaway – and a similar action by residents of nearby Blikkiesdorp, many of whom were moved from Symphony Way – comes as expatriates in London have shown astonishing enthusiasm. Read the rest of this entry »


BBC reports on Jozi family withholding their vote

21 04 2009
‘One house, one vote’ for South Africans
By Andrew Walker
BBC News, South Africa

Homes being built in Alexandra

The government says it has built millions of houses in the last 15 years

Down by the banks of the Jukskei river which winds its way through Alexandra, Johannesburg’s oldest township, there is deep and growing anger.

The tin shacks of the Setjwetla “informal settlement” have been there for nearly 25 years, and residents say they are being ignored by the South African government, passed over in favour of outsiders.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is building new houses a few yards away, but the residents of Setjwetla suspect they will not benefit. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM: Six Families Under Threat of Eviction in Motala Heights

21 04 2009

20 April 2008
Press Statement from the Motala Heights Abahlali baseMjondolo Branch

In 2006 the eThekwini Municipality illegally and violently tried to evict all the shack dwellers from Motala Heights. Abahlali baseMjondolo repelled this eviction and the shack dwellers remain in their homes today.

In 2007 and 2008 the most notorious of the local landlords, Ricky Govender, tried to illegally evict two families from the tin houses. Abahlali baseMjondolo repelled this evictions and those families remain in their homes today.

Now six families, living in rented backyard shacks and tin houses in Motala Heights, face eviction by local landowners.  Those subject to eviction include pensioners and women-headed households with young children, all who have lived in Motala all their lives.  They have nowhere else to go. Read the rest of this entry »