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.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 families remain homeless at the gates of Tin Can Town

7 05 2010
Joint Committee of Phase 2 in Blikkiesdorp
Press Release – 7 May 2010

Three families have been living homeless, freezing weather, rain and all, at the gates of Blikkiesdorp for over 10 nights now.

These families were evicted recently from backyards where they used to live in Delft. They came to Blikkiesdorp looking for a tin because they have nowhere else to go. Since the City of Cape Town will not accommodate them inside Blikkiesdorp, they have occupied some land at the entrance to the Phase 2 section of the TRA. Read the rest of this entry »

Symphony Way Mediations Continue Tomorrow – 9h00

13 10 2009

Mediation process continues tomorrow – 9h00 at the Council Depot in Delft

This afternoon, Symphony Way pavement dwellers of the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign met with the city to begin the mediation process regarding the pending evictions of the community from Symphony Way. The community appeared in the Cape Town High Court on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. The judge ordered that there must be a mediation process to end with a solution.

Today the Symphony Way pavement dwellers engaged with the city and asked for alternatives to the “Blikkiesdorp” Temporary Relocation Area where they are refusing to move based on its inhumane conditions. But the only option the city is offering is Blikkiesdorp.

Tomorrow at 9am at the Council Depot in Delft, the Symphony Way community is going back to meet with the city to see what can be done and to discuss further alternatives to Blikkiesdorp.

Any mediators are invited to attend and assist with the process.

For more information please contact: Ashraf Cassiem 0761861408 and Evelyn 072-748-6864

Symphony Way Mediation Process Begins Today 13h00 – Mediators Invited to Assist

13 10 2009

The Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign is attending a meeting today at 13h00 at the Council Depot in Delft to start the process of mediation with the city per the court order.

Symphony Way pavement dwellers appeared in the Cape Town High Court on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. The order by the judge was that there must be a mediation process that needs to end with a solution. This week the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign will engage with the city as the community is standing strong on opposing to be moved to the “Blikkiesdorp” Temporary Relocation Area.

All mediators who will be helpful to the process are invited to attend today and assist with the forthcoming solution.

For more information please contact: Ashraf Cassiem 0761861408 or Evelyn 072-748-6864

Media: Mayco member stoned by protesters

31 07 2009
31 July 2009, 06:55
Source: Cape Times

A member of the city’s mayoral committee had to beat a hasty retreat under police guard from angry protesters in Masiphumelele near Kommetjie when rocks rained down on the car in which she was travelling after a failed attempt at addressing housing concerns.

Felicity Purchase, mayco member for economic development and tourism, later said the crowd was angry with her because she would not accede to their demands for land in the area to build their shacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Residents angered at housing initiative

27 07 2009
Yazeed Kamaldien – Published:Jul 27, 2009
Source: The Times

RESIDENTS of Delft in the Western Cape have told The Times that the government’s pilot housing initiative, the N2 Gateway Project, is “k*k and pathetic”.

They complained that they had been living in small one-bedroom steel units for more than a year.

The 1300 units at the Symphony Way temporary relocation area in Delft were meant to be the first step to proper housing.

Residents renamed it “Blikkiesdorp” because their homes are made only of corrugated iron.

The pilot housing project was launched in 2006 and is to be used as a benchmark for the rest of the country. But residents said service delivery at the location remained dismal. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: Listen to the shack-dwellers

24 06 2009
Source: Mail & Guardian

Tens of thousands of shack-dwellers in South Africa are doomed to be evicted to transit camps.

Last week the Constitutional Court gave the green light for the eviction of 20 000 people from Cape Town’s Joe Slovo settlement to make way for the N2 Gateway Project. Most residents are to be relocated to the Delft temporary relocation area (TRA).

In 2005, 2 400 families from Langa, Cape Town, were relocated to a camp called Tsunami. In Johannesburg, 6 400 families in Protea South, Soweto, fought a plan to move them to a decant camp in 2007. In Durban, 52 families in Siyanda, KwaMashu, were evicted in December last year and moved to a transit camp to make way for a new freeway. Read the rest of this entry »

Symphony Way wins reprieve despite City’s efforts to undermine our right to a fair trial

9 06 2009

9 June 2009

The Symphony Way Pavement Dwellers have won their first battle in the quest for adequate decent public housing.

Symphony Way residents celebrate at the High Court

Symphony Way residents celebrate at the High Court (more photos)

We have said publicly, over and over again, that: we do not want to occupy Symphony Way. We will gladly move if we are permitted to move to houses which are safe, clean, and adequate to our families’ needs.

But Blikkiesdorp is not a community with houses but a community with blikkies (tin can shacks). It is not adequate, nor is it clean or safe.

We thank the Honorable High Court for a rare instance where the courts have actually upheld the Constitution of this country in support of the poor. The Judge Jake Moloi noted that one cannot overlook Section 34 of the South African Constitution which states that: Read the rest of this entry »

Symphony Way march to High Court tomorrow joined by Joe Slovo, Macassar, Gugulethu and Valhalla Park

8 06 2009
Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
Monday 8 June, 2009 – For immediate release
(see below for other AEC events on Wed and Thurs)

The residents of Delft-Symphony Way are to appear in the Cape High Court on tomorrow, Tuesday 9th June at 09h00.

We will assemble at Kaisergracht Street (old District 6) at 08h00 and we will march from there to the High Court at about 08h30.  Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Protest against new slums law

14 05 2009
Published: 5/14/2009 21:15:22
Source: The Citizen

JOHANNESBURG – About 1 000 members from various non-governmental organisations travelled from across the country to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg to protest against the KwaZulu-Natal Slums Act.

General secretary of the Rural Network in KZN, Mbhekiseni Mavuso, said his organisation was pledging its support to Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM), which has applied to have the Act declared unlawful under the Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »