Shack dwellers ‘mourn’ freedom

28 04 2011
Apr 27, 2011 9:55 PM | By PHILANI NOMBEMBE – The Times
Hundreds of protesting Cape Town shack dwellers yesterday threatened to boycott next month’ s local government elections.

Thandiswa Gabula, of QQ section, an informal settlement in Khayelitsha, on the Cape Flats, was one of the people protesting against lack of services, including basic sanitation, while participating in a shack-fire meeting organised by the Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers’) movement.

Gabula, 45, a mother of four, said she felt excluded from South Africa and that Freedom Day meant nothing to her because her community did not have toilets, running water or electricity. Read the rest of this entry »

Do not vote, shack dwellers told

28 04 2011

April 28 2011 at 10:09am – Cape Times

ct Shack fire summit8942DARK DAYS: Mzonke Poni consoles Nolusindiso Ketani, whose child now suffers a disability after injuries sustained in a shack fire in 2005, at the Shack Fire Summit in Khayelitsha. Community members demanded that the city supply their shacks with electricity to prevent fires. Picture: David Ritchie Read the rest of this entry »

Pastor’s plea to Zille and Zuma

20 04 2011
Apr 20, 2011 | Sabelo Mpana | Sowetan

CAPE Town’s townships “are a living hell”. This is the view of Pastor Xola Skosana, who met Western Cape Premier Helen Zille yesterday.

Skosana earlier wrote to President Jacob Zuma and Zille inviting them to join him this Saturday on a 13km march from Gugulethu to Khayelitsha.

“Considering the immense political influence you both have, if you have any empathy in you, you can change the material condition of 300 families at QQ section, informal settlement in Khayelitsha, who do not have toilets as we speak,” wrote Skosana. Read the rest of this entry »

Persecution from authorities against Backyarders dies down as illegal occupiers flood Mandela Park houses

9 12 2010
Mandela Park Backyarders Press Release
8 December 2010

The Mandela Park Backyarders have finally experienced silence from Authorities after heavily armed police with soldiers moved in 6 families from Gugulethu and 45 other people from Town Two into unfinished houses in Mandela Park. The MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela cannot account for other 45 families from Town Two and he is now pointing fingers at Ward 97 Councillor Rider Mkhutswana as much better positioned person to answer.  But how can something orchestrated so diligently allow for unknowns from Town Two to participate in the occupation?
The move was precipitated by DA members who were sent by the MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela to moonlight in our movement.  They stole our roll call containing the names of our members.  Now the police have vowed to harass and arrest every member of the Mandela Park Backyarders who are on the attendance list.

It appears that a political motivated agenda to drag police into persecuting our movement is done to safeguard criminal elements within the authorities of this country who are being supported by SANCO and the political parties when they give their members free houses.

In South Africa, negotiations are important when seeking common understanding between the people and their government.  But Mandela Park Backyarders have found negotiations to be a waist of time because they are rarely done in good faith.

Our plan is to embark on the same strategies used in other communities.  We will not subject ourselves to useless round tables anymore.  We will meet the government on the street and have all discussions on the same street until a decision that will favour our street agenda is met.

High camaraderie to abahlali bakoQQ Section

Tuesday night the informal settlement of QQ section was covered with fire which left about 80 families without homes and their personal belongings.  Alarm bells were already rung by this community during heavy service delivery protests against those in charge.  But government’s ferocious attitude towards poor meant that their demands were swept under the rug. 

In the aftermath of the fire, the government provided residents with food and a few sheets of cheap zink – this is a tired and has been a short-sighted approach.  They want to manage disasters, not prevent them.  To us, it is a “PRANK”.  You can’t replace a broken chair with another chair thats breaking!  It’s illogical and double insult to the poor and marginalised.

We forward our solidarity to Abahlali baseMjondolo and the QQ Community at large. As Backyarders we would like to say to you one day the HIGH’S WILL BE LOWS AND THE LOWS WILL BE HIGH’S.

Qinani ze Ningadinwa.

For more info contact

Mhlophe – 0786659061
Loyiso – 0737662078
Khaya Xintolo – 0780241683

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100 homes razed as fire rips through Site B

9 12 2010

December 08, 2010 Edition 2
JASON WARNER and |NATASHA PRINCE Staff Reporters – Cape Argus

HUNDREDS of Khayelitsha residents have been left homeless after a fire ripped through the township, destroying nearly 100 shacks over the course of several hours.

Despite widespread damage, no injuries or deaths were reported.
Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Government blamed as fire razes 80 shacks

9 12 2010

Side note: this was an Abahlali baseMjondolo statement, not an AEC statement.

December 08, 2010 Edition 2
Zara Nicholson – Cape Times

A DEVASTATING fire has razed about 80 shacks in QQ-Section in Site B, Khayelitsha.

Residents and community leaders said last night its cause was unknown.

Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne said they were called out to the scene just before 7pm yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

AbM: Terrible Shack Fire Currently Raging in QQ Section, Khayelitsha

7 12 2010

Terrible Shack Fire Currently Raging in QQ Section, Khayelitsha
Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape Emergency Press Statement 07/12/2010

A terrible fire is currently raging in the QQ Section settlement in Khayelitsha. More than twenty homes and the community-built creche have already been destroyed.  The fire is still raging and still destroying countless lives.

Shack fires are not natural disasters. They are a direct result of the contempt in which the government holds the poor in this country. Shack fires are political.We will never accept that it is normal for the poor to burn.

Those so-called social justice organisations that are calling for a politics of patience in which the poor do not directly and immediately confront our oppression take no account of THE FACT that our every day lives are an emergency. We live in crisis every day. We live in life threatening conditions every day. This is what drives us to the streets. We will continue to go to the streets until our humanity is recognised and we are treated with dignity. It is not our protests that are a threat to our society. Is the way that we are forced to live that is a threat to society. It is the oppression of the poor that is a threat to society.

We refuse to be patient. We refuse to accept that it is normal for human beings to have to live like this.

For on the scene updates and comment from QQ section please contact:

Mr. Qona 076 041 0057
Mbongeni 076 981 6945