About Us

The Aim of AEC
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign was formed on November 2000 with the aim of fighting evictions, water cut-offs and poor health services, obtaining free electricity, securing decent housing, and opposing police brutality.

The AEC is currently an umbrella body for over 10 community organizations, crisis committees, and concerned residents movements who have come together to organise and demand their rights to basic services. The organisations that make up the AEC, include:

  • Blikkiesdorp Informal Committee (Delft)
  • The Crossroad Anti-Eviction Campaign (Nyanga)
  • The Delft Integrated Network (Delft)
  • The Eastridge Anti-Eviction Campaign (Mitchell’s Plain)
  • The Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign (Gugulethu)
  • Hanover Park Anti-Eviction Campaign (Hanover Park)
  • The Mandela Park Backyarders (Khayelitsha)
  • Newfields Village Community Representative Committee (Hanover Park)
  • Nyanga East Anti-Eviction Campaign (Nyanga)
  • The Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign (Delft)
  • The Woodridge Anti-Eviction Campaign (Mitchell’s Plain)
  • Zille-Raine Heights (Parkwood)

Affiliated movements and committees we work with or have worked with in Cape Town include (but are not limited to):

  • Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
  • Sikhula Sonke Women Farmworkers Union
  • Joe Slovo Liberative Residents (Langa)
  • QQ Section Informal Settlement (Khayelitsha)
  • Hangberg Solution Seekers Association (Hout Bay)
  • KTC Concerned Residents Movement (Nyanga)
  • Mitchell’s Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association (Mitchell’s Plain)
  • Gugulethu Informal Traders (Gugulethu)
  • Gatesville Informal Traders Association (Athlone)

The Poor People’s Alliance

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, together with with Landless People’s Movement,  the Rural Network and the Abahlali baseMjondolo, is part of  the Poor People’s Alliance – a network of radical poor people’s movements.

Role of AEC Coordinators

As one AEC activist put it: “As coordinators of the anti-eviction campaign, we are not leaders in the traditional authoritarian sense. Instead, we are like a set of cutlery. We are the tools that are there to be used by poor communities fighting against the cruel and oppressive conditions of South African society. Power to the poor people!”

AEC Current Activities
The AEC is fighting evictions and water and electricity cut-offs on many different levels. Its current activities range from direct action demonstrations against evictions and cut-offs. Activities range from legal actions that challenge the constitutionality of evictions, to mass mobilisation and popular education initiatives, to creative organisation and capacity building programs. Some of its current activities are as follows:

 

  • Direct Action. Aside from organising mass marches and demonstrations against evictions, the AEC directly challenges evictions as they are taking place. The AEC protects families from being evicted primarily by staging sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at turning away government and privatised security forces that come to evict families. For those families who have already been evicted, the AEC often responds by moving them and their belongings back into their homes. Should these tactics prove unsuccessful in waving off evictions and in instances where the government is determined to move forward with evictions, the AEC has at times responded by rendering the contested property unliveable, saying if the people cannot have the land, then no one will.
  • Legal Challenges. The AEC’s Legal Aid Team provides much needed free legal advice to all those affected by the possibilities of evictions and forced removals.

  • Mass Mobilisation and Popular Education. The AEC is currently involved in a wide spread mobilisation campaign to get communities from all around the Western Cape involved with the AEC. Via mass public meetings and more targeted activists workshops, the AEC has engaged in popular education initiatives around the issues of evictions, and water and electricity cut-offs. Through it’s popular education activities, the AEC works to make the linkages between people’s concrete experiences with evictions and cut-offs, the government’s macro economic strategy GEAR and its privatisation policies. By mobilising the communities around these issues, the AEC hopes to build a mass political base from which to challenge evictions, one that the government will be forced to listen to and think about before continuing with its eviction policies.

  • Organisation Capacity Building. The AEC is currently embarking on various activities geared toward building the strength and capacity of the Campaign. In an effort to develop the capacity of its Legal Aid Team, the AEC has taken part (and continues to take part) in a legal research training courses offered by a number of organisations. The skills learned in these courses are used in order to help community members in dealing with legal documents and procedures relating to evictions and cut-offs. They also to facilitate the strength and number of the legal challenges against evictions. By building up the skills of our members, we are able to also conduct research on the socio-economic affects of evictions and water and electricity cut-offs. This research is used not only to give empirical evidence to the Campaign’s counter arguments against GEAR and privatisation, but is also used to take the Campaign forward in terms of developing concrete alternatives to such policies.
  • Democratising Communities. The Anti-Eviction Campaign works to democratise the internal governance of poor communities as they attempt to mobilise and stand up for their rights. We assist communities in setting up participatory platforms whereby all residents are able to challenge their elected leaders and hold them accountable.

 

15 responses

23 02 2008
Viola Wilkins

Greetings from Melbourne Australia !

We shall tell the listeners to our Squatters & Unwaged Workers Airwaves Show next Friday February 29th about this injustice and your struggle.

In solidarity with homeless and working people there from the same folks here !

Reminds me of an old “music hall song”:
it’s the same the whole world over
its the poor that gets the blame
its the rich that has the pleasure
ain’t it all a bleeding shame !

Viola

28 02 2008
Jerome Pienaar

To Delft Residents

Your struggle for a decent home still continues. There is only one reason why: our “beloved” government (after being in power for a couple of years) have forgotten what the struggle was all about. The Freedom Charter says: there shall be houses, security and comfort. It looks like the ANC amended this to: There shall be houses security and comfort to those who are bigwigs in the party.

I left the party a long time ago because of the injustices. People you must realise that the only tool you can use against the government is your numbers. Vote them out. Please people I ask you not to vote with the colour of your skins but with your heads.

Stay strong

11 06 2008
Ish

Hi Guys,

Being a humanitarian myself, I admire what you are trying to achieve. However I have come from a poor past and therefore always try to help people in need. I have done so 2 years ago and charged minimal rent with no deposit after people desperately asked me to enter into a short term agreement to help them.

2 years on, after being very compassionate, Interest rates have hiked, my wife’s not working and I now need to get a higher rental income to keep what I have worked so hard for.

I gave them notice in February and they are still not out. So – to put it realistically. I am about to lose my house and uproot my family ’cause I am not allowed to do anything about defaulting payers if I can’t afford a lawyer.

In other words, you are doing goodwork but there are landlords from within our communities, like myself, being trodden on and ripped apart by the current legislation.

Be aware of us as well.

13 01 2009
Sipho

Good Day, I have recently read in the news that your organization is planning a boycott of the general election this year – Why don’t you encourage your members to vote for SOMEONE ELSE where they might see results ? A Boycott is pathetic, every citizen has a right to vote for something they believe in – If the ruling party is not helping your cause then vote for someone else.

13 01 2009
AHMED

Recent newspaper reports state that your organisation is asking for a boycott of the elections, due to non delivery, what about asking the IEC to print one more option at the BOTTOM of the BALLOT PAPER – “NONE OF THE ABOVE” … this way they all will know we are not happy with all of them and they all must apply their minds and reach some consensus and stopping playing opposition politics.

16 03 2009
Bonita Barendse

Is there by any chance a possibility of contacting these organizations via e-mial? I would really appreciate feedback!

7 04 2009
mama ka lucha

I am a young blk South African female in my late teens, I understand and appricicate the impact of the struggle and do not deny that I have benefited. Yes I’m a product of Modle C schools but that does not make me ignorant of the fact that our country is in trouble. The Apartheid for me brought more unity amoung people than democracy has. In that era one would never here of blk on blk violence and no political leader dreamed of depriving his own people of resouces for their own benifit, These people were regarded as impimpi and were killed coz the white would some how get to them as they did not seem to have a side that they were standing firmly for or against.

Now what is happening our leaders are taking advantage of the situation and steeling from the same people who put them in their seats. No one wants to vote them out of office for they fear that appartheid will repeat itself in the country, is that good enough a reason not to vote for the party that you think will best rule our country, that will set an example for other countries instead of making a marcary of this counrty and showing others how stupid South Africans are.

I am legal to vote but what do I vote for will I not be endangering my people if I don’t vote. I believe that its not how much power you have that matters but how you use that power to empower those who can not empower themselves that counts the most. Which ever party that can show me a sence of compation that is the party that I will vote for.

3 10 2009
Michelle Joja

What you comrades are doing for each other is re-inforcing the ubuntu concept back into our society… Be strong and persist in your fight against neo-liberalism and the struggle for basic needs… the leaders, I am proud of you it is nice to see people who have all that they desire still care for those on the ground. This movement has made me look at my basics as priviledges and made me grateful for what I have. Please keep up with your good work and you will reep the fruit. Strongs

5 01 2010
Gabriel Campher

Post-Apartheid South Africa is a struggle between the ‘poor and rich’, ‘exploited and exploiter’, the ‘moralist and the anti-moralist’ and the ‘powerless and the powerful’. The powerful has systematically excluded the poor from public spaces (homes, courts, jobs, etc) and organisations like AEC have been great in uniting the poor and marginalised. AEC must take its campaign to its logical conclusion; beyond social pressure to politcal power!

26 02 2010
eric harber

What can I say. Your work is fantastic. AMANDHLA – AMANDLHA WETU. NKOSI NAWE
You are up against a mafia.
I feel a hypocrite to say – wish we could help, but we do.
St Albans England

28 04 2010
Morgan Gibson

“A Boycott is pathetic, every citizen has a right to vote for something they believe in – If the ruling party is not helping your cause then vote for someone else.” – Sipho

Perhaps it is the very act of voting that is the problem? Perhaps it is representation and hierarchy that we should be rejecting. Perhaps ‘representative’ democracy is not democracy at all? Perhaps hierarchy itself is central to all these problems we are debating.

Whilst I see what you are saying and sympathise with the fact that another candidate may be slightly better, I completely support a boycott as groups such as the Wester Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Zapatistas all represent a new way of doing politics – something that rejects hierarchy, the state and ‘representation’ in favour of participation and direct democracy. May they continue in what they are doing and the message and vision they are promulgating.

They are a hope to us all!

Brisbane, Australia

25 05 2010
Gregor Hayek

Recently in an Austrian newspaper was written, that it is unacceptable for the audience watching the world championships on TV to see the poverty and the shanties and so Capetown & FIFA officials had agreed to abolish them!

LET THEM NOT GET OFF WITH THIS !!!!!!!!!

Yes, I mean that it is acceptable for everyone who’s sitting in front of his TV, sipping beer and gormandising potatoe chips, to be confronted with the poverty of those who have been dislodged just to grant his undisturbed soccer evening!

So, crowd the rich districts, the soccer stadiums, every place where TV cameras are around. Paint banners of protest and hold them towards their cameras! You have to show the world that Capetown is not just Green Point!

Good luck and God bless you!

Vienna, Austria

26 06 2010
The people’s game « Personal S.A.

[...] police brutality”, and is an umbrella group for over 15 organizations. (Read more on their About [...]

22 10 2010
Die Anti-Eviction-Campaign | klassentreffen

[...] Zur Quelle Die Anti-Eviction-Campaign Die “Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign” (AEC) wurde im November 2000 gegründet mit dem Ziel, gegen Räumungen, gegen die Abschaltung von Wasser und die mangelnde Gesundheitsversorgung, und um freien Zugang zu Elektrizität, die Versorgung mit anständigen Wohnungen zu kämpfen und sich der Polizeibrutalität entgegen zu stellen. Derzeit ist die AEC eine Dachorganisation für mehr als 15 Organisationen in den communities, Krisenkomitees und Bewegungen besorgter BürgerInnen, die zusammengekommen sind, um sich zu organisieren und ihr Recht auf grundlegende soziale Versorgung einzufordern. Diese Organisationen sind: Concerned QQ Section Residents (Khayelitsha), Tafelsig Anti-Eviction Campaign (Mitchell’s Plain), Athlone Anti-Eviction Campaign (Althlone), Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers (Gugulethu), Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign (Hanover Park), Gympie Street Residents Committee (Woodstock), Leiden Anti-Eviction Campaign (Delft), Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign (Delft), Eastridge Anti Eviction Campaign (Mitchell’s Plain), Wesbank Anti-Eviction Campaign (Blue Downs), Old Crossroads Anti-Eviction Campaign (Nyanga) Angeschlossene Bewegungen und Komitees, mit denen wir in Kapstadt zusammenarbeiten: Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, Sikhula Sonke Women Farmworkers Union, Joe Slovo Liberative Residents (Langa), Hangberg Solution Seekers Association (Hout Bay), Mandela Park Youth Solidarity Forum (Khayelitsha), Tafelsig People’s Forum (Mitchell’s Plain), KTC Concerned Residents Movement (Nyanga), Mitchell’s Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association (Mitchell’s Plain), Gugulethu Informal Traders (Gugulethu), Gatesville Informal Traders Association (Athlone) Die “Poor People’s Alliance” Die Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign ist zusammen mit der „Bewegung der Landlosen”, dem „Rural Network“ und “Abahlali baseMjondolo” Teil der “Poor People’s Alliance”, einem Netzwerk von radikalen Armenbewegungen. Die Rolle der KoordinatorInnen der AEC Ein AEC-Aktivist beschreibt sie so: “Als Koordinator der AEC sind wir keine Führer im traditionellen, autoritären Sinn. Stattdessen sind wir so etwas wie das Besteck. Wir sind die Werkzeuge, die die armen communities einsetzen gegen die unmenschlichen und tyrannischen Bedingungen der südafrikanischen Gesellschaft. Die Macht den Armen!“ Aktuelle Aktivitäten Die AEC kämpft auf unterschiedliche Weisen gegen Räumungen und Wasserabschaltungen. Dabei gibt es eine Palette an Aktionen, von gerichtlichen Aktionen, die die Rechtmäßigkeit von Räumungen anzweifeln über Massenmobilisierungen und Bildungsaktivitäten bis zu kreativer Organisierung. Direkte Aktion Neben der Organisierung von Massendemonstrationen und Märschen gegen Räumungen bekämpft die AEC direkt Räumungen, wenn sie stattfinden. Sie schützt Familien davor, geräumt zu werden, indem sit-ins und Demonstrationen veranstaltet werden, die darauf abzielen, die staatlichen und privaten Sicherheitsdienste davon abzuhalten, Familien zu delogieren. Wenn Familien bereits delogiert wurden, antwortet die AEC oft damit, sie und ihr Hab und Gut wieder in ihre Häuser zurück zu bringen. Wenn sich diese Taktik als erfolglos herausstellt, wenn sich zeigt, dass die Regierung die Räumungen trotzdem durchzieht, hat die AEC manchmal geantwortet, indem sie das geräumte Gelände unbrauchbar gemacht hat, womit sie ausdrückt, dass niemand auf diesem Land leben wird können, wenn diese Menschen es nicht dürfen. Gerichtsverhandlungen Das Rechtshilfeteam der AEC bietet freien Zugang zu rechtlicher Beratung für alle, die von möglichen Räumungen bedroht oder betroffen sind. Massenmobilisierungen und Aufklärungsarbeit Die AEC arbeitet zur Zeit an einer breiten Mobilisierung, um die communities rund um Western Cape zu integrieren. Mittels Massentreffen und gezielten workshops für AktivistInnen hat die AEC sich in Volksbildung rund um die Punkte Räumungen, Wasser- und Stromabschaltungen engagiert. Diese Volksaufklärungsaktivitäten dienen dazu, Verbindungen zwischen den konkreten Erfahrungen der Menschen bei Räumungen und Abschaltungen sowie der makroökonomischen Strategie „GEAR“ der Regierung und ihrer Privatisierungspolitik herzustellen. Indem die communities rund um diese Punkte mobilisiert werden, hofft die AEC, eine politische Massenbasis zu schaffen, von der aus die Räumungen angegriffen werden können, sodass die Regierung gezwungen wird hinzuhören und darüber nachzudenken, ehe sie ihre Räumungspolitik fortsetzt. Organisierung Organisationsfähigkeit schaffen. Die AEC setzt zur Zeit verschiedene Aktivitäten mit dem Ziel, die Stärke und Fähigkeit der Kampagne zu erhöhen. Um die Kapazitäten seines Rechtshilfeteams zu vergrößern, hat die AEC an Trainingskursen zu rechtlichen Recherchen einer Reihe von Organisationen teilgenommen (und nimmt weiterhin an diesen teil). Die Fertigkeiten, die in diesen Kursen erworben werden, dienen dazu, Mitgliedern der community beim Umgang mit rechtlichen Dokumenten und Abläufen in Zusammenhang mit Räumungen und (Strom- und Wasser-)Abschaltungen zu helfen. Weiters sollen sie die Kraft und die Anzahl von rechtlichen Maßnahmen gegen Räumungen erhöhen. Indem unsere Mitglieder sich diese Fähigkeiten aneignen, schaffen wir es auch, Recherchen über die sozio-ökonomischen Aspekte von Räumungen und Wasser- und Stromabschaltungen durchzuführen. Diese Recherche benötigen wir nicht nur, um empirisch abgesicherte Argumente der Kampagne gegen GEAR und Privatisierungen zu erhalten, sondern auch, um die Kampagne in Bezug auf die Entwicklung konkreter Alternativen zu dieser Politik weiter zu bringen. Demokratisierung der communities. Die AEC arbeitet daran, die interne Regierung armer communities zu demokratisieren, wenn diese versuchen, zu mobilisieren und für ihre Rechte einzustehen. Wir helfen den communities beim Aufbau partizipatorischer Plattformen, in denen alle EinwohnerInnen dazu befähigt werden, ihre gewählten FührerInnen herauszufordern und sie verantwortlich zu machen. Dieser Eintrag wurde veröffentlicht unter Südafrika. Permalink in die Lesezeichen aufnehmen. ← Abahlali baseMjondolo – kurze Geschichte der Bewegung 23 Verhaftungen in Mandela Park → [...]

9 10 2012
Thembani

Please e-mail the way forward with regards to the processes to be followed to prevent this evil practise of evicting poor families from their homes by the gridy agents which do this for the purpose of selling for huge profits.We are not yet free,this freedom is for the rich and the politicians only.
ALUTA CONTINUA

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