Backyarders and others to us PAIA to demand government’s secrets about our communities

24 05 2011

Backyarders Press Statement – 24 May 2011

The Mandela Park Backyarders will be going this morning to both the Provincial Department Housing and to the National Parliament this morning to submit a list of demands to access information about their community under the PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act).

We demand:

  • Documents or any other record that provides details of the Councillor’s Budget from 1995–2011. We demand the specifics as to how much was allocated, how much was spent, full details of the expenditure and documents with proof of those who had approved that expenditure.
  • Documents or any other records that show the criteria that was used to allocate houses in Mandela Park.
  • Documents or any other records that explain the Intergrated Development Plan for Mandela Park.
  • Documents or any other records on Councillor’s meetings in Ward 97 with specific details on what had been discussed and decisions that have been taken.
  • Documents or any other records that provide details about the ward boundary re-demarcation process with a specific focus on the ‘so-called’ consultation process and procedures followed where government is said to have engage community members.
  • Documents and any other records that provide details of land ownership in Mandela Park.
  • Documents or any other records that show who exactly is on the government housing waiting list for the community of Mandela Park.

We feel there is significant corruption and unfairness in the above processes and we seek this information to better explain to our members how government has sidelined the poor in Mandela Park from our constitutional right to development.

Members of the Right2Know campaign, together with the Mandela Park Backyarders, the Newfields Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign and Zille-Rein Heights community have decided to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get access to information to address the violation of our Constitutional rights as communities.

We have already requested and have experienced challenges getting the above mentioned information because government seems to want to keep us in the dark about our own conditions.

However, we believe it is our right to access such information. In a real democracy, this information would not need a PAIA as the information would have already been provided by government officials to our communities.

For more information:

Khaya: 0780241683 from Backyarders
Luzuko: 0739662188 from Backyarders
Nkwame: 0782276008 from Right to Know Campaign

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