"Many of our fellow citizens could not join the festivities because of the poverty which still affects so many people. These are fellow South Africans who do not have enough to eat even on normal days, who do not have proper housing, and are everyday exposed to diseases of malnutrition and poverty," Mbeki said in his New Year message on Saturday. M&G
Saturday, December 31, 2005
"Many of our fellow citizens could not join the festivities because of the poverty which still affects so many people. These are fellow South Africans who do not have enough to eat even on normal days, who do not have proper housing, and are everyday exposed to diseases of malnutrition and poverty," Mbeki said in his New Year message on Saturday. M&G
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Firefighters have been hard at work all day trying to contain nine blazes in the Cape metropole and surrounding areas.
Health MEC Pierre Uys says there are concerns about people developing respiratory problems as a result of the smoke. Read More Photo: Andrew Ingram, Cape Argus
Cape fire leaves hundreds homeless December 29, 2005, 08:00 Hundreds of people have been left homeless following a fire in Ocean View in the Cape Peninsula this morning.About 100 shacks burnt down in the Site-Five informal settlement. Wayne Okkers, the South Peninsula divisional officer, says they had their hands full fighting two fires this morning. SABCNEWS
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Disaster Management's John Brown said they could not establish whether the child was a boy or a girl. Full Story
Monday, December 26, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Between 300 and 400 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed about 100 shacks at an informal settlement in Philippi on the Cape Flats, while by 7pm, a blaze still raging unchecked on the mountainside above upmarket Camps Bay had gutted one home and damaged nine others. Read More
Cape Town city disaster management spokesperson, John Brown, said two of the houses had been totally gutted and the blaze was threatening more homes in the area. Read More
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
ANGRY Lentegeur residents are refusing to co-operate with the Western Cape government’s ‘Krismis Box’ plan which promises to scrap rental arrears.
“Because the Old House of Representatives didn’t do their job properly, we now sit with a housing problem that has to be solved,” Rasool said.
However, a few residents are refusing to be involved in the process.
Mr Ebrahim Jenniker, a resident, said they are calling on the government to “prove where the arrears are coming from”.
Jenniker said many of the houses, were valued at around R14 000, were bought in 1987 and through resident’s own calculations, “we have already paid our houses finished”.
“In 1993 we already paid R7 200 on our homes. We were then told that we would receive R7 500. So if you add it up, by that time our houses were finished paid,” said Jenniker.
He added that because local government did not have any records, they “can’t answer where the arrears comes from”. Read More
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
A fire has destroyed 450 shacks in the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi - leaving more than a thousand people homeless. Supplemental with an average of 4 residents per shack this figure is probably closer to 1,800 people displaced by this fire. Full Story....
Sunday, December 18, 2005
"About 100 shacks were destroyed and 600 people displaced. No-one was killed in the fire."
Officials said this week that more than a hundred people had died in nearly two-thousand shack fires in Cape Town this year. - Sapa
In response to a parliamentary question, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s department revealed that more than 469 projects were blocked countrywide at the beginning of October.
Housing spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said the delays and blockages were due to administrative delays, inflation rendering original tenders insufficient, land invasions and/or fraud.
She said money intended for blocked projects, has been spent elsewhere. Build Your Own Home.
...The Housing Department could not provide the Sunday Times with the exact number of houses that had not been built due to blocked projects. e.g: Innovator seeks to build hemp homes - (Sunday Times)
James Masango, a DA MP and member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on housing, said in Mpumalanga there were abandoned foundations for government housing projects that had been built in 2000 and were now overgrown with grass. Sunday Times
Friday, December 16, 2005
New Urbanists stress the importance of the built environment in fostering community but emphasize that there must be a change in mindset, design, and practice concerning how communities are physically constructed to overcome current civic deficits, loss of social -capital, and a diminished sense of community. They argue that the organization of physical space is intimately related to the way in which persons are understood both as individuals and as social beings.
New Urbanists claim that traditional towns and urban neighborhoods are more conducive to developing community and provide more life choices than contemporary suburban living. Read More
Thursday, December 15, 2005
By building your house from this proven green-construction technology ,
That is THREE times the amount of homes, for the same R325-million, while channeling money to the rural areas which would slow rural to urban migration easing the burden on urban housing.
This green-technology is in line with Kyoto protocols and acts as a buffer to environmental damage by earning carbon credits.
...The existing backlog of 260 000 units, with about 16 000 new families arriving in the city annually... Read More
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
She mentioned frequent fires in informal settlements as a serious setback to the challenge of providing homes for all. “The cost in human lives and disruption cannot be calculated.”
Mfeketo said the leadership of the city would be the first to acknowledge and apologise if they did something wrong as it sought to transform the city and change mindsets.
The media were unable to hear Mbeki’s input and were requested to leave the hall immediately after Mfeketo’s input.
Founder member Daphne Jansen said the government was not sticking to its own batho pele (people first) principles by refusing the group entry.
“If the president is saying women must find their voices and be self-reliant, this is not the way. Read More
The documents, which focus on resorts, golf estates and putting a brake on urban sprawl, say development in the province must in future be both: Eg. Build your own home
"green and black" - environmentally sustainable and empowering to the black community... [join in and discuss this article here: IA EnviroSust ]
Tasneem Essop, MEC for environment, planning and economic development, said yesterday if the province did not address "the way we develop, we are going to push the province into further crisis".
Housing Sustainable Development
Considering the facts regarding the previous environment, planning and economic development minister and former premier shown here in System Failure: IA JAM it is clear all development needs to be beyond reproach. All documents and spending should be publicly available.
Shack Attack turned Golf
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Here the marginalised are in a massive majority. Business Day
Monday, December 12, 2005
Fires continued to ravage the Western Cape over the weekend with blazes claiming another life and forcing the closure of the Huguenot Tunnel. Fires around Table Mountain also kept city firefighters battling flames for most of the weekend.
The fatal fire occurred early on Sunday morning when a person was killed as 17 shacks burnt in Mbewana, Nyanga...
On Thursday, three people died in an isolated shack fire in Makaza, Khayelitsha, just two days after 295 shacks burnt down in Site B, leaving 1 100 people homeless... Read More...
Saturday, December 10, 2005
"First they ignore you Then laugh at you and hate you,
Then they fight you
Then you win.
I know its gone and there's going to be violence..." - Robbie Williams
Friday, December 09, 2005
The Western Cape is on red alert amid dry and windy weather conditions as firefighters battle to bring fires in Khayelitsha and the Oudekraal area under control. Full Story....
Help from above: A helicopter empties a load of sea water over a fire near Kommetjie in Cape Town. Western Cape firefighters are bracing for more blazes as a howling south-easter buffets the Peninsula with temperatures soaring at 27°C. Full story Photo: Brenton Geach, Cape Argus
Richard Dyantyi, the WC housing and local government minister, who was expected to explain why there are no houses, failed to pitch up.
There has been mixed emotions from 1 000 families who received empty plots and communal toilets at De Doorns in the Hex River Valley in the Western Cape.
Richard Dyantyi, the Western Cape housing and local government minister, who was expected to explain why there are no houses, failed to pitch up. Some families who have been on the housing list for over 10 years, have expressed dissatisfaction with the empty plots, while others who lived in a nearby informal settlement have shed tears of joy in an expression of happiness.
Thobeka Madikane (38), a local resident, says she has spent her entire life in a shack having to share a toilet with hundreds of her neighbours in a river bed. With tears in her eyes and gulping for breath, she says her plot of land although almost bare, and her toilet that she has to share with four other families is a dream come true. Manny Sotomi, the chief director for housing and planning in the province, says handing over vacant plots, earmarked for development is not ideal but the best solution to the housing crisis.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
City project tender controversy continues 2005-12-08 09:12:59 Businessman Phillip Dexter is set to sue for intellectual theft - he alleges that the consultant the city council awarded a R6-million contract to establish a jewellery centre, bypassing normal tender procedures, stole the idea from him. Full Story....
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Hundreds of shacks have been destroyed by a fire in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, and while some residents looked on in horror others took the opportunity to loot nearby spaza shops. Full Story....
Swift action: A gas cylinder explodes as residents scramble to salvage their belongings from the fire. Photo: Andrew Ingram, Cape Times
More than 800 people have been left destitute following shack fires in Khayelitsha in the Cape Peninsula. Most of the residents were at work when the fire started and have lost most of their possessions. Residents are blaming the city council for their slow housing delivery.
Last January, 1 500 shacks were razed in the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa. Last month, the same area experienced three other devastating fires.
Over the past weekend, 450 shacks were destroyed, leaving more than 2 000 people homeless in Du Noon, an informal settlement near Table View.
Victims of today's fire are collecting whatever they can salvage and preparing to erect new shacks. Cyprian Cairncross, a divisional commander for the Cape Town fire services, says the cause of the fire is still unknown but will be investigated. No fatalities were reported.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
With a simple one-word "yes" response to questions tabeled by DA Councillor Neil Ross about N2 Gateway Funding, the city has admitted that the housing project is suffering from a short term financial hitches...
Published in the Cape Times Pg2.
Page 1 Carries an article on City Management questionable tender deals.
RDP 'houses' a crying shame
The townships themselves, spawns of a reprehensible separatist scheme, were nevertheless also much better than the millions of squalid squatter camps which have been rapidly mushrooming in the past 11 years of "democracy".
These are harsh, unpalatable facts and I'm fully aware I'm laying myself open to vicious reactionary attacks from some in the vetgat league. ..
Jon Qwelane's column is published each week on News24, courtesy of Jon Qwelane and the editor of Sunday Sun, which originally carried the article.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Thousands are going to spend the night with no roofs over their heads.
A man has died and 750 shacks and 2 houses have been destroyed as fires ravaged the Doornbacht informal settlement and a section of the Piketberg in the Western Cape. Full Story....
Sunday, December 04, 2005
You are quite right that the problem of slums will not be solved by research alone.
However, I am informed that as of last Kenya had the second highest number of registrants participating in the Habitat Jam. The fact that thousands have been willing to patiently wait in line sometimes for hours in order to be able to contribute to this debate has been a profoundly moving experience for me.
The fact that the debate on slums has moved from the academic world to streets of cities such as Nairobi, Dakar, Cape Town and Mumbai, Rio, Lima and Manilla is in and of itself a powefull signal to world leaders on the need for concerted action.
Devastation: Siyaongwana Nokilunga of Doornbach sits on a stool at the spot where her shack formerly stood. Full Story Photo: Andrew Ingram Cape Times
Four fires have brought devastation to the lives of hundreds of people in Cape Town. Full Story....
Residents of Doornbach near Milnerton in Cape Town watch as a helicopter tries to douse the fire raging in the informal settlement. Photo: Michael Pinyana, Sunday Argus
Advanced Fire Information Service: Please be patient this site - is slow.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
December 1, 2005
The Habitat JAM is in full swing and JAMMERS are active across the world, leading discussions and exploring controversial, stimulating topics in each forum. After eight hours of JAMMING, Humanity: the Future of Our Cities leads the way as the most popular forum, with 765 posts. Hot topics in this forum include education and the critical role it plays in the evolution of our cities, how population mobility/migration influences cities and the important role of a city’s population in solving the issues. Environmental Sustainability in Our Cities is the second most-popular forum at this stage, with Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers in third place.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Security of Tenure, Availability of Services, Affordability, Habitability, Accessibility, Location & Culturally Adequate.
For more see: http://www.cohre.org/hrframe.htm
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
Urgency: Ebrahim Rasool
Before hostilities and suspicion around housing delivery in the Western Cape became entrenched, hard decisions needed to be taken about how this massive challenge should be tackled, premier Ebrahim Rasool has warned. Full Story....
Photo: Cape Argus
Persuasive argument: Policemen fire rubber bullets at occupants of the Crest Hill building in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, who refused to vacate the unsafe building during an eviction operation before dawn on Friday. The police arrested 135 illegal immigrants. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Demonstrated out side the Department of Housing
- Plant a cannabis seed. Water and allow the plant to grow and produce seed. Plant and water these seeds. Your goal is to grow enough to build a house, you will need about 1 acre to build a 5 roomed home.
Tyala imbewu ntsangu (ye-cannabis). Nkcenkceshela imbewu uze uyinike ithuba lokuba ikhule ide ikhuphe eyayo imbewu. Uyothi ke uyityale nalembewu uyinkcenkceshele njalo. Injongo yakho kukukhulisa izityalo ezothi zonele ekwakheni indlu, uyakudinga i-acre (malunga nentsimi) enye ukuze wakhe indlu enamagumbi amahlanu.
- Consider the many relevant points presented in the guidelines of Build your house step-by-step.
Qwalasela yonke imigaqo oyibekelweyo kwincwadana i-Build Your House Step By Step.
Download book from: InternAfrica
- Start planning where your house will stand. Consider everything about the environment you’ll be building in, like winter and summer sunshine, wind and rain – you don’t want to build on a floodplain, or your house will wash away. Be sure to plan all your water and waste requirements.
Ceba indawo ozokwakha kuyo indlu yakho. Qwalasela yonke into ngomhlaba lo uzokwakha kuwo indlu yakho, izinto ezinje ngemimoya, ilanga, neemvula zehlobo nobusika, akekho umntu ofuna ukwakha indlu yakhe emgxobhozweni okanye apho iyothi ibe lilifa lezikhukhula khona. Uqiniseke ukuba unamanzi akulungeleyo ukwenza oku.
- Cut the grown cannabis plants down and leave in the field to rhett for a week. The morning dew and natural rotting process will loosen the fibers from the plant.
a. Process the plant matter by cutting leaves and branches off, then hit small bundles the length of the plant over and upturned rake.
b. The long fiber parts that remain in your hand are good for weaving rugs and making various other items your skills can accomplish.
c. The seed can be gathered for more housing.
d. Gather the small woody bits (the hurd) that have fallen, this waste is what will be used in the construction material.
Sika / sarha izityalo uzibeke egadini ixesha elingangeveki ukuze zibole. Umbethe wasekuseni nezinye izinto zendalo ezibolisayo ziya kuyikhulula I-fibre ezityalweni.
a. Yikhawulezise ngohlukanisa intonga zezityalo namagqabi, uhlale uyiharika rhoqo.
b. Intonga ezi zinothi zincede kwezinye izinto ezifana nokwenza ingubo nezinye izinto onothi uzibonele zona ngokolwazi lwakho.
c. Imbewu inokuqokelelwe ukwakha ezinye izindlu.
d. Qokelela imithana ethe yaziwela njengokuba uzoyisebenzisa xa usakha indlu yakho.
- Wash the hurd, dry it, then wash it again. Be careful not to allow the matter to rot or decay during this process, by turning, airing and allowing the African sun to dry the hurd properly. Now combine in proportions 10:2:3:3 combine the cannabis/ntsangu/dagga Hurd(10), washed river sand 0.5mm(2), hydraulic lime(3) and water(3) to make the mulch (This process may need tweaking depending on your geographic location, humidity, rainfall etc)
Hlamba ingqokelela yakho, uyomise, uphinde uyihlambe.Ulumkele ukuba lengqokelela ibole kwelithuba, yiguquguqule, uyivumele ibethwe ngumoya uvumele nelanga lase Afrika liyomise lengqokelela. Dibanisa ngokwalo mgaqo 10:2:3:3, dibanisa ke lemvuno yakho yomgquba wentsangu (10) kunye nesanti yasemlanjeni 0.5mm(2), ikalika (3) kunye namanzi (3) ukwenza udaka (Nale into ke iyokuthi ixhomekeke kwindawo leyo ukuyo nemvula zakhona njalo-njalo).
- Now build your house! Ngoku ke yakha indlu yakho!
- Teach others. Fundisa abanye.
· You can use this “dagga-cement” for making bricks, shutter casting or the proven “pole-and-dagga” method. This last method allows for a sturdy, warm, fireproof and water proof home – built with pride and intuitive engineering, not a ‘uniform box’.
Be sure to consider all aspects of your house design and structural requirements. Although the cannabis-cement will become stronger than steel in time, it is not advised to build over 2 floors high without considering structural implications. With planning this cement can be used to build up to 4 floors high.
The cannabis-cement will dry over a period of a month (depending on the weather). At this point you will be able to add the roof. Seal your home’s walls with lime; lime external walls annually.
Decorate your house with masonry to make it unique, and paint with coloured lime as per custom.
Always PLANT A TREE in a place that will provide shade, to commemorate this accomplishment.
Council will plant trees if citizens care for them. Call (021) 689-8938 http://www.trees.org.za/
Assist your family, friends or neighbors with your experience and expertise. Share information and technique; you can uplift yourself and your community.
Tell your friends and colleagues about the Habitat JAM!
Blessed Katiyo Richard Dyantyi, the Western Cape local government and housing minister, has called for a sustainable human settlement summit to be held. The aim is to alleviate the housing crisis in the province.
The summit, bringing together a number of stakeholders, among them communities, business construction sector companies, academics, housing practitioners and government representatives, will be held to discuss housing issues in the province.“We are going to be demonstrating pilot projects that have important key features for us some supported by employers others driven by government itself others cross subsidized,” said Dyantyi.
The province has a serious housing backlog and the minister hopes discussions at the summit will help ease problems in housing administration. Some of the problems include industrialists who refused to have new housing communities in their vicinities. The minister was optimistic that such red-tape will be removed.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Lindiwe Sisulu, the minister of housing, has promised drastic changes in the R3 billion housing N2 project near Cape Town, which planned to have 22 000 units built by next year.
To date, only 240 houses have been built.
The project which was hailed as one of the most innovative housing projects has run into serious difficulties, and shack dwellers at the Joe Slovo informal settlement say there has been no consultation from government about who will be housed there.
There has also been reports that construction is behind schedule and contractors have not been paid and scaling down to cut costs.
As fire-weary residents of Joe Slovo fled in anger from the 16th blaze to hit the informal settlement this year, rendering another 600 homeless, the DA charged that there may not be enough money to house them. [Full Story...]
Frantic endeavour: Residents of Joe Slovo informal settlement yesterday scramble to rescue their possessions as a wall of flame advances. Photo: Alan Taylor
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Partly funded by the City of Cape Town and the National Housing Finance Corporation, the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC) has taken legal action against the residents, as well as community leader, David Valentine, over the outstanding payments.
The embattled CTCHC has previously been in the line of fire for alleged construction defects in other low-cost housing developments. The case was postponed to February 16 after residents asked the court for more time to establish legal representation."I was at the high court when I got the call from neighbours that the house was on fire," said Gillian Davids.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Since the start of November there have been a wave of land occupations in the area of Lavender Hill. First, on the weekend of the 4th of November about 40 families occupied land in Hillview, forming a new settlement called Chinatown. The occupation started on Friday night and by the time that the Council came to look on Monday morning most of the shacks had been completed - meaning that the Council would have to start eviction proceedings if they want the people off their land. And as the Valhalla Park case (Rudolf v. City of Cape Town) proves, the courts tend to side with those who have nowhere else to go when they take state land.
The land occupation movement intensified on Saturday the 12th as some thirty families moved onto land between St Montague Village and Rondevlei Nature Reserve. In response, Council Law Enforcement came to smash their still-incomplete shacks, supported by the City Police. A battle started when the City Police attacked a mentally ill man who was walking around and confronting the cops. As people tried to protect the man the City Police struck, firing rubber bullets and attacking with batons - a 10 year old boy, Quintin, was hit on the head with a baton, requiring 5 stitches. Three men were arrested on charges of public violence, only to be released (case dismissed) on Monday morning.
After Saturday's battle, the Law Enforcement retreated, and people carried on building. By Tuesday morning the land was filling up, with more than 400 families having erected shacks for themselves. These are families coming out of backyards in St Montague Village, Hillview, Lavender Hill and surrounding areas, where they have to pay high rents (one lady quoted R 700 a month) and face arbitrary eviction from landlords. Now they are making space for their lives on this land in St Montague Village, in a settlement that thus far has no name. "Skrik vir niks" ("Scared of nothing") suggested one activist, "Laaste uitvlug" (Last respite) suggested another. Whatever the name, it seems that new settlement is here to stay - the people on the land have clearly settled there for good!
Tomorow they will join the Day of Action for Housing which is also taking place in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, Crossroads and Hanover Park. Another front in the battle for decent housing for all has been opened!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
From Delmas in Gauteng to the Cape Flats in the Western Cape, townships have erupted in violence as residents protest against their local councils over issues such as the provision of potable water, electricity, roads and affordable housing.
In some instances disgruntled residents have threatened that if these services are not speedily provided, they will stay away from the coming local government elections as a sign of protest. However, nothing could be more foolhardy...
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Communities around the Cape Penisula have protested against a lack of service delivery and housing. The marches, which were held in three areas, had varying turnouts. The first memorandum was handed over to the Steenberg Municipality by a group of coloured protesters who said they had been neglected and that preference had been given to blacks.
In Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, protetsters complained about the eviction of people who failed to pay their bonds. Meanwhile, in Crossroads, protestors stoned the councillor's house, claiming they are not involved in the decision-making on matters relating to the development of the area.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
A Wendy house fire on Freedom Farm, off Modderdam Road in Belhar, outside Cape Town, has left three children dead and one woman slightly hurt. Full Story....
Unbearable grief: Sharon Onkruid cries uncontrollably as she holds her toddler Dylan after she lost three of her five young children in a shack fire. Full story Photo: Enver Essop, Cape Times
CAPE TOWN, On the 16th of November 2005, communities across Cape Town took action to demand decent houses for all, now!
This year, the Western Cape failed to spend R 76 million of its housing budget. 350 000 families in the province don’t have houses, and only 11 000 houses were built in the whole of the Western Cape last year. Meanwhile, in Cape Town alone, 260 000 families wait for houses and that number grows by 20 000 a year. Shack communities are told they can’t get electricity and get only a few toilets and water because they are ‘temporary’ even if they’ve been living in the same place for years. Meanwhile the government is selling its land to private developers for rich people’s houses, and then turning to the poor and saying there is no land!
Actions included a marches of 400 people each in Lavender Hill and Crossroads (Boys Town) [audio report] with smaller actions in Hanover Park, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu. Memorandums were handed over the officials from the Cape Town City Council (and in Hanover Park the local councillor was given a symbolic funeral) and action was demanded within 7 days, else more mass action will follow!
Participating organisations included Hanover Park Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC), Hillview Housing Forum, Inthatho Nxaxheba (Crossroads, Boys Town), Intshukumo Yabantu (Gugulethu), Mandela Park AEC, Newfields AEC, QQ section area committee, St Montague Village Women's Hope for the Nation, United Homeless People's Development Association (Cuban Heights) and Vrygrond Action Committee.
Monday, November 14, 2005
At noon today at the Foreman Road settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, police attacked a peaceful demonstration of settlement dwellers from around the muncipality. Dozens have been arrested. As of 2:30pm, police had surrounded the Foreman Road settlement and blocked both exits. No one is being allowed in or out. Shots have been heard, and there are reports that anyone attempting to leave the settlement is being fired upon. Eyewitness reports suggest many injuries due to rubber bullets.
The elected committee of Abahlali base Mjondolo, a shack dwellers movement with 16 affiliated settlements, followed due procedure in attempting to gain permission for the march. The city council, however, illegally denied the application (see letter below from the Freedom of Expression Institute for details). At 11am, the majority of the 3000-strong crowd decided to march to the nearby Asherville sports field. This was a route recommended by the Mayor’s office at a meeting on Friday, 11 November, in the Mayor’s presence.
Initially, the march proceeded peacefully up Loon Road. At the top of the road, marchers were met by a police cordon at the intersection of Loon Road and Locksley Road. At least 2000 people were up against the police barrier. Witnesses did not observe the mandatory five-minute warning being given before police charged the crowd with riot shields, backed up by riot trucks, plucking individuals at random for arrest. The crowd fled back down Loon Road, towards Foreman Road settlement.
Police officers chased the marchers into the Foreman Road settlement, firing rubber bullets, charging with batons, and arresting protesters in the process. Witnesses saw cameras, phones and money taken from protestors by the police. Five people were arrested at the front line and approximately 10-15 later minutes at least one more van left the scene, filled with arrested protestors; as of 2pm, a total of 13 people were detained at Sydenham Police Station, though witnesses have seen more police vans filled with people from informal settlements. It is possible that they are being held at other police stations.
One of the first arrestees was System Cele, a 19 year-old elected committee member from nearby Kennedy Road settlement, attending the march with her young baby. She was seen in good health as she was arrested and marched to a police van. She reported that police pushed her around, demanding that she reveal S’bu Zikode as the person making people march. When she said that there were people marching all over the world, and that S’bu could not be inciting them all, they assaulted her, and in the process broke her teeth on the pavement, necessitating dental treatment. As Ms. Cele pointed out, S’bu and other leadership had told those gathered that the march would be illegal, and had advised that there would be consequences, but no one could have foreseen the ferocity of the police response.
The quarantine of the Foreman Road settlement continues. At one point, an effigy of Mayor Mlaba was burned in front of the police, giving off black, oily smoke.
The March on Mayor Mlaba was organised by the Foreman Road Development Committee to demand land and housing in the city and to protest against forced removals and the ongoing removal of basic services from shack settlements. It was decided to march under the slogan of No Land, No House, No Vote. On Wednesday, 9 November more than 5 000 people attended a mass rally in support of the march in the Foreman Road settlement.
Media coverage of on-going events at Foreman Road is urgently needed; please contact those listed below for comment. Bail funds are also needed; contact Fazel Khan (084 577 8627) for details. Finally, please email City Manager Mike Sutcliffe email@example.com to protest the brutal suppression of today's march.
For print quality photos, go to Indymedia South Africa at one, two and three or contact Raj Patel firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Ballard email@example.com 083 789 7108
For comment please contact:
Mnikelo Ndabankulu, Foreman Road Development Committee, 07356565241
Lungisani Jama, Foreman Road Development Committee, 0822595443
Nonhlanla Mzobe, Kennedy Road Development Committee, 0826892606
Angelina Mosiea, Quarry Road Development Committee, 0762921833
S'bu Zikode, Chair, Abahlali base Mjondolo, 0835470474
Simon Delany, Freedom of Expression Institute, 0833970057
Raj Patel, Centre for Civil Society, UKZN, 0824724937
Fazel Khan, Social Policy Programme, UKZN, 0845778627
Background info here. Another eyewitness account from Alan Murphy. And an update.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Police are investigating a case of arson after 30 shacks were reduced to ashes at the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Johannesburg last night. The fire allegedly started when a tuck shop was set alight. One person has been arrested. Read more ...
Friday, November 11, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
The residents will also hand over a memorandum to MEC for Housing Nomvula Mokonyane on Wednesday before heading to Mbhazima Shilowa's office.
Most of the township's population of more than 300 000 are still staying in shacks with no proper sanitation facilities, despite the launch of the R1,3-billion Alexandra Renewal Programme (ARP) four years ago.
'Children are dying because of the unhygienic environment that they are brought up in'When it was launched by President Thabo Mbeki in 2001 - as one of eight national urban-renewal initiatives - the ARP promised to give the township a complete revamp, and residents' hopes for a better life were raised...
Thursday, November 03, 2005
The premier insists fire breaks work, just the same as he did in 2003, with the Jo Slovo shack fires.
This year, this fire again. The costs of fire are serious, more so than political promises.
Homeless: Twelve-year-old Nolusindiso Vena carries blankets through the remains of shacks gutted by a devastating fire in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town. Photo: Lulama Zenzile, Cape Times Full Story....
Sisulu says municipalities are struggling to provide shelter to the homeless. The reason for calling the meeting urgently was prompted by a presentation from a SALGA representative.
"It showed us that averagely per municipality, there are only two people dealing with housing. And that is the level at which we have been dealing with housing development."
The minister has again called on communities to start doing things for themselves and not to wait for the government. One example is a group of women from Phillipi near Cape Town, who have managed to build more than 80 homes in their community.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
A teenage paraplegic has died in a blaze that raged through more than 250 shacks in Khayelitsha this week and left more than a thousand people without homes. Full Story....
Blaze ... Khayelitsha residents try to save their belongings. Photo: Oliver Hermanus
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
"Unemployment is undermining South Africa's housing delivery strategy," researcher Catherine Cross said in Pretoria.
"Serviced housing alone is not going to be enough to overcome poverty," she said. "There will have to be jobs. It is becoming more and more difficult for people to stay in the houses they've got." News24
I hope the land affaris minister, realises that further land grabs have the potential of following the previous 70 farms failure.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Business Day, South Africa - Oct 14, 2005
Sisulu appealed to the private sector and construction companies to help the government solve the housing crisis. M&G
She rejected the idea of turning dagga plants into bricks as a cheaper alternative to building materials. "It's a very cooling method of building a house [& thus energy efficient], but not what we advocate."
We see the benefit in advocating a lesser city footprint on the planet and building green, carbon efficient, fire, water proof - home at a third the price a logical step in human habitat development. As is demonstrated in World Urban Forums, and HERE
Friday, October 28, 2005
While top officials take the money and run... & who is doing the job now? This city planning thing, you know that thing that takes years to plan and implement...? This is the 4th time this has happened in as many years... is this sustainable?
No! we're never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.
Cape's top officials set city back R43m 2005-10-27 14:45:35Nearly R45-million on voluntary settlement packages - that's how much the City of Cape Town has spent on 92 of its top officials up until the end of September. Full Story....
Thursday, October 27, 2005
While wards still argue about delivery...
ANC ward meeting turns ugly 2005-10-27 11:32:18ANC members in Khayelitsha have stormed out of a ward meeting, smashing windows and barricading a gate, after allegations that party provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha had rigged votes. Full Story....
My Question is - if there are no ward councillors... who is the political voice and what Authority do they have?
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Govt struggling to cope with housing demand - Minister Lindiwe Sisulu Business Day, South Africa - Oct 14, 2005
Sisulu appealed to the private sector and construction companies to help the government solve the housing crisis.
She rejected the idea of turning dagga plants into bricks as a cheaper alternative to building materials. "It's a very cooling method of building a house, but not what we advocate." -- SAPA
Read M&G article