Academia: Spatial Dynamics, Contested Development, and Competing Rights in Cape Town, South Africa

7 07 2011

PDF DOWNLOAD: Spatial Dynamics, Contested Development, and Competing Rights in Cape Town, South Africa

by Duncan Ranslem, June 2011

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Geography)

Chapter 1
Introduction

The right to housing needs to be dissociated from the right to property and returned to the right to inhabit.
-Don Mitchell, The Right to the City

Adopted in 1996 after the fall of the apartheid state, the South African constitution enshrines the rights of all people in South Africa. Enumerated among these rights is a right to property and a right to housing.2 The former represents the claims to ownership and private property that are familiar in U.S. law and Western tradition: the rights to possess property, and through this possession, to use it as one sees fit, to accrue any benefits that are derived from it, and to be protected from its undue expropriation. The right to housing, on the other hand, recognizes the fundamental need for access to shelter and basic social connections. Under its provisions, every home is protected from demolition, and its inhabitants protected from eviction, except after a court has considered all the relevant circumstances. Moreover, South Africa’s municipal governments are responsible, within their available resources, to realize the right to adequate housing for all. Juxtaposed against one another, these rights represent claims that are often contradictory. The underlying contradiction, in many cases, is that a person’s home is not necessarily that person’s property. Such homes may exist, either as, or located on, property owned by the state or by a private entity. In such cases, where the lawful property owner is met with the unlawful appropriation of his property as someone else’s home, the right to that property and the right to housing come into conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

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The ANC’s fast and furious parliamentary deliberation over the Info Bill, going through the motions

25 05 2011

In the face of sustained opposition to the Protection of Information Bill (better known as the “protection of information from investigative journalism bill”), the ANC is pushing the speedometer needle well into the danger zone as it chases deadlines at breakneck speed. But the question remains: Will it swap its Ferrari for its trusted bulldozer in the end anyway? By T O MOLEFE.

Operating under obvious pressure from above, ANC MPs grew increasingly agitated during Tuesday’s meeting of the ad hoc committee on the Protection of Information Bill. The source of their annoyance was the slow progress on deliberating clauses in the bill, and accused DA and ACDP MPs of intentionally delaying progress. Read the rest of this entry »





IPS News: “Now We Demand They Do It For the Poor”

11 08 2010

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52446

‘Now We Demand They Do It For the Poor’
By Davison Mudzingwa

CAPE TOWN, Aug 10, 2010 (IPS) – Weak floodlights barely held back gathering darkness as Somalia met Serbia in the finals of the Poor People’s World Cup. A small band of supporters were on hand to see and African side lift the cup in Cape Town’s Vygieskraal Stadium.

The Poor People’s World Cup drew 38 teams, predominantly from poor black and coloured communities far from the city’s glittering Green Point Stadium.

Two Worlds, Two Cups

Planners initially proposed Athlone, on the Cape Flats, as the site for Cape Town’s official World Cup venue, reasoning that the investment in infrastructure could breathe fresh life into this working class neighbourhood. The rows of council housing were too prosaic a backdrop for FIFA’s vision, and a picture-perfect location between mountain and sea was chosen instead.

It was left to the Poor People’s World Cup to host a tournament there, on the patchy grass of Avondale Athletics’ home ground. The teams, each adopting the name of a different country, played for a trophy and 5,000 rand (a bit less than $700) in prize money.

The tournament was originally planned to run concurrently with FIFA’s, to highlight the contrast between the daily lives of the majority of South Africans and the opulence of the World Cup proper. It began in June, but, fittingly, a struggle to find sponsors meant the finals were delayed by a full month, to Aug. 9.

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AEC’s Ashraf Cassiem on the World Cup

14 07 2010




Solidarity: Standing with the Poor People’s Alliance at the 2010 US Social Forum

7 07 2010

As the World Cup began in South Africa in June 2010, the social movements of the Poor People’s Alliance continue to face off against the governing elite’s escalation of harassment, repression, and displacement.  At the same time, activists gathered at the second United States Social Forum — to bring together U.S.-based movements fighting poverty, racism and oppression, within the States as well as globally.  Some of the poor people’s organizations that gathered in the embattled and resilient, majority-Black city of Detroit for the USSF had met with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign who visited the U.S. in 2009, finding common cause and inspiration in their creative struggles and visions for a better world.

On June 25 in Detroit, members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Picture the Homeless, Poverty Initiative, and other movement activists at the USSF gathered to play football — as a solidarity message to our allies in South Africa and their Poor People’s World Cup games happening at the same time.

We are with you!   Aluta continua!   Amandla Ngwethu!

For past examples of New York City-based solidarity statements and actions, see here and here.





Activists threaten to stop Gugulethu mall opening if local workers aren’t used

29 10 2009

October 27, 2009 Edition 1
Quinton Mtyala – Cape Times

THE Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) has vowed to stop the opening of Cape Town’s newest mall on Thursday – in Gugulethu – unless 80 percent of its employees were from the area.
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Press Release: Mitchells Plain Town Centre Allocation Process Stopped

13 06 2009

CHATA (Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association) had a meeting with its members on 10 June 2009, regarding the allocation process of trading bays in Mitchells Plain Town Centre. The allocation process was completely unfair and exclusive although the city claimed they would make it transparent and would consult with the traders regarding all issues of the process.

Councillor Dennis Williams explained in a meeting on 9 June 2009 that the process has been stopped. CHATA needs clarification as to why the process has stopped and for how long. Mr. Williams was the very same councillor who agreed that the hawkers must move to the new market, despite mention that the process was exclusive of about 500 traders.

CHATA has grown from 150 members to 500 members and has formed alliances with other groups in the Town Centre.

Traders are fed up with the City not listening to them. CHATA will continue to fight for the fundamental rights of the informal traders in and around the Western Cape.

Contact: Mischka 0731286657