Media: Joe Slovo residents defy move to Delft

22 06 2009
21 June 2009, 13:32
By Nwabisa Msutwana-Stemela
Source: Mercury

Tension is mounting in Langa near Cape Town as informal settlers from Joe Slovo slowly fill up every available piece of open land in the more established areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Argus: Joe Slovo residents defy move to Delft

21 06 2009
June 21 2009 at 01:32PM
By Nwabisa Msutwana-Stemela

Tension is mounting in Langa near Cape Town as informal settlers from Joe Slovo slowly fill up every available piece of open land in the more established areas.

Joe Slovo residents, many of whom were moved to make way for the Gateway project and who do not want to move to residential units in Delft, have settled in other parts of Langa in their hundreds and erected shacks.

More move in almost every day and some Langa residents have now called for the authorities and community leaders to intervene. Read the rest of this entry »

Gugs AEC to pressure Social Development

1 03 2009

Gugulethu AEC Press Alert

Today we held our weekly mass community meeting in which we discussed Social Development’s politicisation of social grants.  The Gugulethu AEC has finally submitted our list of about 10,000 residents from Gugulethu, Nyanga, Mannenberg and Langa who are in dire need of support from Social Development.  Social Development has promised to dish out grants on the 19th of March, just in time for the elections.

Therefore, begining tomorrow morning at 9am, our community has decided to begin a process of daily mass actions to pressure Social Development and minister Zola Skweyiya to include all the poor in its various 19th of March grants – not just the ANC.

For more about our plans, contact Mncedisi at 078 5808 646, Speelman at 073 9825 725 and Pule at 073 6448 919.

Deliver or resign! Housing MEC at Gugs backyarders meeting

13 02 2009
Gugulethu AEC Press Release
Venue: Gugulethu Sports Complex
Date and time: 15th of February at 14h00

In our last public meeting with MEC for Housing on the 2nd of November 2008, Mr Whitey Jacobs told our community and reporters that, for the past 15 years, there has been “no provincial housing plan for backyard dwellers in Cape Town”.  As media from the Argus, Times, the Sun, the Daily Voice and the Sowetan witnessed, he further promised that if he did not come up with a plan that satisfied residents within 2 months, he would resign from office.

At our weekly meeting on Sunday 15th of February 2009 at 2pm, the MEC will be presenting his ‘comprehensive plan’ for the backyarders of Gugulethu, Langa and Nyanga that, he says, includes dishing out over 200 houses for AEC backyarders.  He will also get back to us about his promise to build public housing for backyard dwellers in wealthy areas such as Muizenberg, Constantia and Mowbray.

We look forward to the MEC being the first minister to not break his promise to the poor.  But in the likely event that he does break his promise to provide us with houses, we will hold him to accountable to his promise – to resign if he does not deliver.

Contact Mncedisi at 078 5808 646 and Pule at 073 6448 919

Backyard Dwellers of Gugulethu, Nyanga, New Crossroads and Langa occupy empty land just of Landsdowne Rd in Gugulethu

6 09 2008

Update on this weekend’s attempted land occupation:

While attempting to occupy vacant land in Gugulethu (see original statement below), residents were interrupted by over 50 police officers who, at gun point, illegally stole residents’ building materials and threatened to attack residents if they resisted.  Angry about the situation, residents decided to march on Housing MEC Whitey Jacob’s home in the upscale Malunga Park area of Gugulethu.

In order to get the attention of Jacobs who, like his predecessor, has not been listening to the grievances of Cape Town’s poor, residents decided to clean up the trash from a near-by informal settlement and place it in front of the MEC’s home.  After Jacob’s arrived in his brand-new volvo SUV with his body-guard and four police vehicles at his side, he was presented with this attached memorandum.

Once Jacobs agreed to engage with residents at their weekly meetings, residents decided to clean up all the trash as a good-will gesture.  But angry residents warned the MEC that if he continues with the anti-poor policies and the authoritarian approach of his predecessor, more mass action will take place.

For your interest, here are some pictures of the march and peaceful protest at the MEC’s home and a short video with some Toyi-Toying.


On a more humorous note:

The MEC asked the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign for the physical address of the Gugulethu branch of movement.  Residents replied that the address is the Gugulethu Sports Complex where they hold their weekly mass meetings.  Confused, the MEC replied that as an organisation, the AEC must have an office of some kind.  But residnets were adamant: We are not an organisation, we are a social movement.  We exist only because residents attend our actions. We don’t have an office. Our meeting places is the Sports Complex, and if you want to correspond with us, you must come to our mass meetings held there every Sunday.  Because the MEC has no understanding of working with the people instead of on their behalf, he is oblivious on how to engage with residents of Gugulethu.  Hopefully, at our meeting next sunday, we can teach him a thing or two about democracy.


Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Saturday September 6, 2008 at 12:30

Gugulethu – After attempting to highlight pervasive corruption in the allocation of housing by occupying empty flats in a Langa housing development last month, Backyard Dwellers are now taking action against the City and the Province by occupying empty land in Gugulethu.

While all different levels of government continue to refuse to allocate well-located land to shackdwellers, backyarders and other poor people, government officials see no problem releasing land for new Shoprite developments, malls, golf-courses, and other big-business oriented “urban renewal projects”. Officials continue to claim that there is no open land in Cape Town. Yet this city has one of the highest rates of urban sprawl and has more open land than most big cities in the Global South.

Even though the South African government doesn’t seem to understand this hypocrisy, backyard dwellers (some of whom have been on the waiting list for over 20 years) no longer have the patience stay cramped up in peoples backyards any longer. This is why Anti-Eviction Backyard Dwellers from Gugulethu, Nyanga, New Crossroads and Langa have decided to take matters into their own hands.

The AEC Backyard Dwellers are currently setting up their new informal homes in Gugulethu just off of Landsdowne Rd. The ELF# for the piece of land is RR448. Press and well-wishers are invited to come to the scene immediately to support the residents in their action to secure a livelihood for themselves and their families.

The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign would also like to use this action to welcome Mr Whitey Jacobs, the MEC for Housing in the Western Province, to his new job. We hope that he will have the political courage and humility to listen to the words of Cape Town’s poor and oppressed rather than follow the demands of his bosses and the private sector.

The poor must claim their right to drive the so-called Peoples Housing Process.

Power to the poor people!

For more information and for directions, please contact Mncedisi Twalo at 0785808646

Housing protesters tell of ‘horror’ attack

4 08 2008
Aziz Hartley
August 04 2008 at 07:29AM
Source: Cape Times

Gugulethu backyard dwellers who tried to occupy unfinished flats in Langa at the weekend, on Sunday told of the “horror” they experienced when people armed with knobkieries and bricks launched a violent attack on them.

Saturday’s occupation, led by the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC,) was meant to be peaceful and to protest against the long wait for housing, but yesterday a number of its supporters told how the vicious attack left them with bruised limbs, fractured ribs and head injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

Dozens of residents injured in Langa today

4 08 2008
AEC  Press Update
2 August 2008 at 4:30pm

The backyarders did manage to occupy unoccupied flats in Langa. The first preference was given to elderly people. These people were already inside their new homes.

But then suddenly a small group of people from a nearby informal settlement attacked. We said “we are all together in the same situation of not having houses. We are not enemies”. The backyarders did not fight back and suffered serious injuries. One resident is seriously injured in Somerset hospital. Others have been taken to Guguletu and Vanguard hospitals. Journalists were also injured and were taken to hospital.

One elderly woman was lying on the ground and a lot of men were beating her. We have photos of this.

People risked their lives to get houses today. This will go down in history. Backyarders plight has been ignored for so long and this is the result. We blame the government for the injuries that we incurred today. They have failed dismally to deliver houses and shack dwellers across the country are getting desperate for a better life.

Tomorrow there is a mass meeting at Guguletu Sports Complex at 2pm to discuss the way forward.

For comment please call 078 5808646