Brown University: Community Report on housing struggles in Eastridge, Michell’s Plain

24 02 2011

* Click here to access the entire paper on housing struggles in Eastridge *


This project aimed to explore the social, economic and political changes which have occurred over the last fifteen years in several areas in Cape Town, including Eastridge. To do this, interviews were conducted over a three week period. The researchers were supplied with some initial contacts in the area by the research coordinator, and from there the snowballing technique was used to acquire more informants. The people interviewed by the researchers represented a diverse spectrum of interests and roles within the community. For Eastridge, the following informants provided the information on the area: a representative of a local school; previous and current ward councillors, a local general practitioner; a representative of the Mitchell’s Plain Urban Renewal Program (URP); a member of the Mitchell’s Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association; representatives of the Eastridge Community Centre; activists in the Eastridge anti-evication Campaign; a worker at the National Institute of Crime Prevention (NICRO); a housing activist from the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC) village; and a real estate agent operating in the Eastridge area. This document is organised into three sections: first, a brief description of the area is given, through information from the informants as well as from the researchers’ perceptions from their time spent in the area. Second, an analysis of the key issues in Eastridge is explored. This is organised into two parts; the first looks at the key themes which emerged in the interviews with the key informants, while the second part looks at the themes covered in the literature regarding the area. The third section is a photograph album of the area which the researchers took during their time spent in Eastridge. While this document is by no means supposed to represent all the issues that Eastridge faces, nor the many opinions present in the neighbourhood, the key informants show a diverse spectrum of interests and roles within the community, and thus provided useful insight into the key issues in Eastridge.

Mitchells Plain Traders Respond After March

8 07 2010

Following a march that was held by the Mitchells Plain Traders on 03 June 2010 the City of Cape Town has responded through to both CHATA and the 5th Avenue Traders Associations. The city has noted that the issues pertaining to CHATA and the 5th Avenue Traders are distinctly different from one another. Mayoral Committee member Felicity Purchase has states that the process is not finalized and the allocation of bays will be revisited.

CHATA and other trades belonging to the other 6 different trader associations are not happy with the relocation. Although, it has been reported by the city that traders are extremely happy. This is an issue that CHATA will challenge with the city; traders are not happy. CHATA is requesting a meeting with all of the traders in the Town Centre, the Ward Councillor, the Sub-Council, the Mayor and Felicity Purchase.

In the Town Centre, the traders are not interested in gaining power or benefiting from the process, instead it is an issue of the livelihoods of traders that have been affected tremendously. Traders need to trade where there are feet and not on an island.

It was said that tourists would visit the Mitchells Plain Town Centre during the FIFA 2010 World Cup, but nothing is happening here for the traders and hawkers during this time. Instead, the nearby community is still supporting traders, as is the case on a daily basis.

One demand from CHATA was that reports from the tribunal and workshop that were conducted be made public documents. The city has not responded to this demand and we ask why? CHATA continues to pursue this demand as the public has a right to see what went on in these sessions.

For more information please call Mischka Cassiem (CHATA) at 0731286657 or Jasmine Page (5th Avenue Traders) at 0733688690

Press Release: Mitchells Plain Traders respond to march

8 06 2010

Traders of Mitchells Plain marched to the city offices on Thursday, June 3, 2010. A memorandum from 5th Avenue Traders and CHATA was handed out at the march to government official Mr. Paul Williamson. The memorandum addressed the eviction of traders in Mitchells Plain, the exclusion of traders due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the harassment and intimidation to traders by law enforcement. CHATA and the 5th Avenue Traders Association had a brief discussion regarding the traders who are not trading. Mr. Paul Williamson responded that they could only deal with these issues after the FIFA World Cup and that all the politicians and officials are in recess during this time. However, CHATA is very disappointed in the response from Mr. Paul Williamson and CHATA has also made it clear that the process was unjust and unfair. Councilor Natalie Bent has also admitted that the members of CAHTA have been suffering in having no income for so long. CHATA is also awaiting a response from Councilor Natalie Bent as she promised to engage with the Mayor regarding the evictions.

CHATA also sends out a message that there are traders writing letters claiming they are members of CHATA. CHATA requests that the executive confirm all letters sent on behalf of the association.

CHATA has also unified itself with the 5th Avenue Traders Association who supports CHATA. The 5th Avenue Traders Association is part of the Mitchells Plain Traders Umbrella Body.

For more information please contact Mischka Cassiem at 0782422263 or 0745257336

KleinhändlerInnen in Mitchells Plain: Verhaftungen von CHATA

6 05 2010

(Translation of the following Press Release)

Am Samstag, 24.4.2010, wurde ein Mitglied von CHATA am Markt verhaftet und ihre Waren konfisziert. Vor dieser Verhaftung hat die Verwaltung von Kapstadt keine Beschlagnahme- oder Räumungsanordnung präsentiert. Weiters hat die Frau auf einem privaten Grundstück Handel getrieben und daher gab es keine rechtliche Grundlage für die Stadtverwaltung, ihre Waren zu beschlagnahmen. Read the rest of this entry »

Mitchells Plain Traders: CHATA Arrests and Responses

28 04 2010

On Saturday, 24 April 2010, one of CHATA’s members was arrested from the Town Centre market and her goods were confiscated. The city of Cape Town did not issue a confiscation or eviction notice prior to the arrest. Additionally she was trading on land owned by a private owner giving the city no legal ground for the confiscation of her goods. There needs to be more pressure put on the City of Cape Town and the government of South Africa for the mass actions being taken throughout the country against informal traders. Goods are being stolen every day and the government is defending this act by claiming they have the right to confiscate what they do not feel is being sold in the right manner. Legal action needs to take place against these acts.

Additionally, CHATA is responding to a newsletter that has been circulated by The Mitchells Plain Town Centre Merchants Association, discrediting CHATA in its fight for the poor. The chairperson for the MPTCMA is Dr. MC Roomaney, telephone number: 021 392 8130.

CHATA, in particular, is responding to targeted attacks and claims in the newsletter. The MPTCMA stated that “…we exposed these people for the selfish, greedy and obstructionist opportunists they are” in the workshop with the mayor help on 18 November 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Zim refugees take to streets

13 03 2010

2010-03-13 05:31:26 – Voice of the Cape

“We demand compensation for Zimbabwean refugees who were deprived of property. Detained trade union leaders must be released immediately. We demand a speedy land reform process.” These were some of the posters seen on the streets of Cape Town on Friday afternoon as about 30 women from the trade union Sikhula Sonke took to the streets in solidarity with the Zimbabwean refugees who where displaced in De Doorns late last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release: Livelihoods and Business Lost for Mitchells Plain Town Centre Traders

12 03 2010

The community of Mitchells Plain and the majority of Traders express disappointment at the local government in the way they have handled the allocation process in the Town Centre. According to the City they have followed procedure, but CHATA still objects to this claim as their grievances have not been listened or responded to.

The City claims CHATA has a membership of 15 people, when in reality CHATA’s membership is nearly 300 people each with a membership form completed in their own handwriting.

The situation in the Town Centre has not improved since the clearing of the lanes. Traders who have collected permits and are trading in city allocated spaces are extremely unhappy with the condition of the permits, the physical trading areas and they cannot sustain their livelihoods in the areas where they have been moved. Most Traders would agree that there has been a loss of business since the evictions on Monday, March 8, 2010.

The livelihoods of many people in Mitchells Plain were lost on Monday and the City must not continue to ignore the rights of the people.

For more information please call Mischka Cassiem at 0731286657 or Yasmeen at 0842875220

Media: MP traders up in arms

11 03 2010

2010-03-11 05:52:02 – VOCFM

Mitchells Plain traders are up in arms following the removal of their stalls by law enforcement officials on Monday. According to Mischka Cassiem from the Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association (CHATA), this was because of a new by law which came into effect last year, which had declared Symphony Lane in Mitchells Plain a no trading zone. Cassiem said that approximately 1000 informal traders and hawkers have been left with no income and their goods have been confiscated by the law enforcement officers. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Traders furious as cops dismantle their stalls

10 03 2010
See also a radio786 interview with trader Mischka Cassiem
March 09, 2010 Edition 1
NIKITA SYLVESTER Staff Reporter – Cape Argus

INFORMAL traders in central Mitchells Plain have clashed with police over permits.

Chaos erupted in the town centre yesterday morning when nearly 100 traders reacted angrily to the arrival of metro police who said they had been instructed by city officials to remove any structures which blocked the walkways. Read the rest of this entry »

Traders Evicted in Mitchells Plain Town Centre

8 03 2010

Today in Mitchells Plain Town Centre, Traders were evicted, goods were confiscated, trading bays demolished and livelihoods shattered.

The Town Centre was lined with police and law enforcement vehicles as Traders non-violently protested as they watched their goods get thrown into dumpsters. Over 100 police and law enforcement officers were on the scene, as well as City Officials Randall Skrikker and Richard Holdstock. As each trading bay was broken down, Traders resisted in a non-violent manner.

Traders without permits are left without the ability to continue their businesses after many have been trading in the Town Centre for over 20 years. The community is behind the Traders and we will continue to fight for the rights we know we deserve. The poorest of the poor continue to be marginalised in a country that claims to be democratic. Traders ask for support and solidarity and all media is asked to speak to the following Traders individually to gain further insight into the events that took place today:

Jennifer at 0833522658, Nazeema at 0735790445, Desma Abrahams at 0787878702, Faldela at 0839252025, Ishmael Abrahams at 0837691653, Naiela at 0729050779


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