Road Blockade in Grahamstown this Morning

17 05 2011

Tuesday, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Five Hundred People Blockade Road in Grahamstown this Morning

This morning five hundred people from eThembeni and Transit Camp in Grahamstown blockaded the N2. The eThembeni people were demanding housing, electricity and water. The Transit Camp people were demanding the completion of their houses. The project has stalled due to non-payment of the contractors.

The road was successfully occupied, fires were lit and posters declaring a refusal to vote were raised. The police, acting with their usual aggression and insults, managed to clear the blockade and put out the fires. When the television crews arrived the police behaviour became less aggressive and it was possible to reoccupy the road. But once they left the people were driven off the N2 and the road blockade moved into Joza where it was broken up again. The protest continued on the pavements until three in the afternoon. There were no arrests.

Aluta Continua.

The statement below was drawn up in a meeting last night but could not be issued until today due to a lack of access to email.

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Press: Kicked Out for the Cup?

10 06 2010

Watch Christopher Werth’s multimedia report from South Africa: “Out of Bounds? Cape Town’s Cleanup for the World Cup.”

Kicked Out for the Cup?

South Africa is accused of clearing Cape Town slums to clean up for the big event

Newsweek Magazine, 4 June 2010

by Christhoper Werth

Victor Gumbi sits pensively beside a smoldering fire in a newly cleared lot, literally in the shadow of the recently renovated Ellis Park Stadium, one of the many venues where South Africa will host the World Cup football tournament, which kicks off this week. South Africa billed the world’s most popular sporting event as a boon to development that would help lift millions out of poverty, but Gumbi, a 35-year-old day laborer, says things are only getting worse. Not long after South Africa was awarded the tournament, an entire city block in the neighborhood where he lives was slated for destruction as part of a larger urban-regeneration scheme around the stadium, as Johannesburg began preparing for the throngs of tourists expected to come pouring in over the next few weeks. Late last year, the run-down building where Gumbi was squatting was torn down, leaving him in a small, jerry-built shack in the middle of a block of half-demolished houses that local residents have nicknamed “Baghdad.” Now many residents who’d been living in the area’s abandoned buildings for well more than a decade feel they’re being forced out because of the World Cup. “They want to hide us. They don’t want the Europeans seeing the people living here, so they demolished these dirty houses,” says Gumbi, who’s convinced he’ll be removed once and for all before the games actually begin.

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Open Letter to Dan Plato, Helen Zille and Tokyo Sexwale from the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions

10 06 2009

9 June 2009

The Honourable Mr. Dan Plato
Mayor of Cape Town,
The Mayor’s Office,
City of Cape Town
Cape Town 8001
South Africa

Reference: Violation of housing rights of 60 families in Macassar Village, Cape Town.

Dear Mayor Plato,

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an international human rights non-governmental organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices throughout the world. COHRE has consultative status with the United Nations and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. COHRE works to promote and protect the right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere, including preventing or remedying forced evictions.
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Media: Backyard dwellers remain defiant

23 05 2009
By Francis Hweshe
Source: Cape Argus
May 22 2009 at 02:34PM

The defiant backyard dwellers who are continuing to illegally occupy a piece of land in Macassar should retreat, Mayor Dan Plato said.

Tension has grown over the past three days, with the protesting group not backing down on its intention of permanently occupying land close to the N2.
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Media: Cops, backyard dwellers clash in Macassar

20 05 2009

20 May 2009, 09:04

Source: Cape Argus

A police officer and a young boy were among several people injured during Tuesday’s violent confrontation between police and Macassar Village backyard dwellers who invaded land adjacent to the N2.

During the incident, four men – including prominent academic Martin Legassick – were taken into custody.

When police bundled Legassick, who the people called their “comrade”, into the back of a police van, the backyard dwellers hurled stones at them, and police opened fire with rubber bullets. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Pavement dwellers refuse to move

20 03 2009
1/22/2009 12:03:36 PM
Source: Eyewitness News

“The people on Symphony Way list, they will scrutinise it and put it up against the database of the N-2 project and then, thirdly, they want to keep open communications”

The Anti-Eviction Campaign has vowed that pavement dwellers on Symphony Way in Delft will stay at the roadside until they are given houses.
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Media: Pavement life blights kids’ life at school

13 03 2009
March 13, 2009 Edition 1
Source: Cape Argus

Spending a year living on the pavement and the threat of eviction are taking their toll on the 175 children of Delft’s Symphony Way, who are having difficulty concentrating at school

Their performances have been adversely affected by their harsh living conditions and insecurity about their future, said Anti-Eviction Campaign spokeswoman Jane Roberts.

“They can’t focus on their school work because their minds are on being evicted and they keep wondering when they will get houses,” she said.

“They keep thinking about when police will come and destroy their homes after throwing them out.”

Roberts said their only hope was to get houses where they would feel like normal children. Read the rest of this entry »