Services plan for backyard dwellers

7 09 2011

September 7 2011 at 12:59pm – BRONWYNNE JOOSTE and CLAYTON BARNES – Cape Argus

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THE CITY of Cape Town’s plan to provide basic services to backyard residents has been met with mixed reaction.

Mayor Patricia de Lille launched the Backyard Essential Services Improvement Programme yesterday.

The pilot stage will start in Factreton next month and entails installing toilets and running water in structures in backyards.

Electricity would also be provided, and backyard residents would get their own wheelie bins. Other areas in the pilot phase are Hanover Park and Langa. Read the rest of this entry »


UN: Olympic ‘Beautification’ of Cities Means Forced Evictions

9 03 2010

World Cup, Olympics Harm Housing: UN

Published on Monday, March 8, 2010 by Agence France Presse (accessed at

A UN human rights expert blamed football’s World Cup and the Olympic Games for forcing thousands out of their homes, as host cities sought “beautification” often at the expense of poor residents. Read the rest of this entry »

The Real Story Behind South Africa and the World Cup

1 02 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010
Allison Grill

It’s Not Just A Game

The World Cup is arguably the most popular sporting event in the world.  Fans from all over the world rally around their home countries, all eyes on the month long football tournament (seeing as this is an international event, I am going to try to avoid referring to the sport as soccer.  My apologies if I fall back into it).  The World Cup is exciting—there is no doubt about it.  Stadiums get full of crazy, screaming football fans.  Those who cannot attend will stay up throughout the night to watch their national team live.  People take to the streets to celebrate big wins.  If you are like me, and thrive off of collective excitement, it is hard not to get swept away.  I don’t even particularly like football.  Sure, I can get down with a pick up game every once in a while and I will always come prepared with a soccer ball when working with kids (especially if we don’t speak the same language. This has proved to be a lifesaver time and time again).  But please don’t ask me to name a football player who is not Beckham or Ronaldinho.  So why choose the World Cup as the focus for this article if I don’t know a damn thing about soccer?   Because, as per usual with international sporting events (see:  just about every Olympics ever) there is another story that needs to be told.  A story about the people whose country is being invaded by contractors and rich tourists.  A story about the political and social upheaval that often accompanies such events.  In this case, a new story about South Africa.  Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Joe Slovo people to get ‘new houses’

10 12 2009
08 December 2009
Anna Majavu – Sowetan

WESTERN Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has done away with former housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s N2 Gateway housing plans for Langa, Cape Town. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Houses standing empty as bank admits some N2 Gateway units are difficult to sell

24 11 2009

November 23, 2009 Edition 1
Quinton Mtyala – Cape Times

MONTHS after being completed, gap houses which form part of the N2 Gateway in Langa remain unsold as the bank financing the project admits affordability is a factor. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: City cannot intervene on N2 flats

4 11 2009

By Nomava Nobumba – Bush Radio
04 November 2009

N2 gateway residents are seeking for the intervention of the city on crime and fraud they claim is happening in the block of flats.

Residents say the flats are not safe, thought there are security guards. Read the rest of this entry »

Corruption continues at the N2 Gateway Flats. Residents demand the closure of the HDA!

3 11 2009

N2 Gateway Flats Residents Committee Press Statement
3 November 2009

We are in a crisis here. The HDA replaced Thubelisha, but still, nothing has changed.

As far as crime is concerned there remains many problems. This includes fraudulent activities of staff members who used to work for Thubelisha Homes but are now reporting to the Housing Development Agency (HDA).

One of the problems is that the lights in the corridors outside of our units are being stolen. No response to this has came from the HDA.

Also, on the 9th of October, a resident named Thabo was hijacked at gunpoint at 23h55 in the evening in his own parking area. The hijackers even stole his closes leaving him naked. What surprised us as residents is that Thabo stays very close to the entrance gate in full view of the Flats’ security guards. But guards claim not to have seen the incident. Thabo was not helped by the security guards with the company saying that the HDA is only paying them for access control and not to keep the Flats safe.

As the committee of the N2 Gateway Flats, we approached the senior security guard, Mr. Nobhatyi (073 878 6461) but only to find out that he had already tried to contact the N2 Gateway residents committee. Mr Nobhatyi told us that Bongani Bhele, the HDA caretaker of the N2 Gateway flats, prevented him from meeting with the residents. We also have evidence that Bongani is involved in a number of fraudulent activities here and therefore is trying to prevent residents and the security guards from working together.

We know that the underpaid security guards are not at fault. It is the corrupt people from the HDA who are preventing the security from being accountable to the community.

We have also approached the Langa Police seeking for their intervention. But as you know, they are always short of staff. We could not get much help…or should I say we could not get any help at all.

We approached the HDA directly because of various crime, fraud and mismanagement related issues.

We complained to the HDA about Bongani selling N2 Flats. We complained about people from outside the community being allowed in to kick the doors in and occupy many of the vacant flats. When confronted, these people told us that Bongani Bhele and someone named Eric asked them to pay a security deposit upfront. They claimed that Bongani and Eric would then disappear with the money leaving them without a flat.

The committee has helped one particular lady to write up an affidavit regarding this issue at the local police station. We have copies of her statement to show to anyone who is interested.

The HDA responded to our complaints by saying that there was nothing they could do because they ‘did not have a mandate’ to intervene. But it is their own people who are causing these problems!

We then approached the Housing MEC who came to meet with us on the 25th of October. Mr. Figlan, a member of Parliament, accompanied him. But the meeting was not fruitful. He told us that “there is not much we can do. We are tied up as far as the N2 Gateway Pilot Project is concerned”.

Then on the 31st of October in the early morning, a boy aged 19 was stabbed to death outside his own home while the security guards slept on.

Why must residents die? Who is next?

Why doesn’t the government come talk to us so that we can come up with a solution to the problems that they have caused?

Why does the government always say their hands are tied when they are the ones who created the problems in the first place?

The residents of the N2 Gateway Flats are very angry because the government and the HDA have tried to avoid each and every problem with their housing project.

First it was the contractors cutting corners and issuing us with keys that opened everyone else’s flats.

Then it was other problems of substandard housing and fraud. The auditor general found these problems. SCOPA found these problems. Even the Geneva based COHRE found these problems.

Now people are being attacked and even killed because the government refuses to work with us and solve the problems that they caused.  The HDA is causing more problems and corruption. Its the same as Thubelisha Homes which preceded it. We didn’t need Thubelisha and we don’t need it the HDA.

Here is our call for government to finally intervene – meaningfully:

We, as the residents of the N2 Gateway Flats can manage our own community. We can create our own form of cooperative governance for our own community. And we can do it without corruption and mismanagement.

Contact the N2 Gateway Flats Committee for more information:

Luthando at 079 896 6126
Zongie at 082 438 9319
Nolundi at 073 229 2126