Academia: Spatial Dynamics, Contested Development, and Competing Rights in Cape Town, South Africa

7 07 2011

PDF DOWNLOAD: Spatial Dynamics, Contested Development, and Competing Rights in Cape Town, South Africa

by Duncan Ranslem, June 2011

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Geography)

Chapter 1

The right to housing needs to be dissociated from the right to property and returned to the right to inhabit.
-Don Mitchell, The Right to the City

Adopted in 1996 after the fall of the apartheid state, the South African constitution enshrines the rights of all people in South Africa. Enumerated among these rights is a right to property and a right to housing.2 The former represents the claims to ownership and private property that are familiar in U.S. law and Western tradition: the rights to possess property, and through this possession, to use it as one sees fit, to accrue any benefits that are derived from it, and to be protected from its undue expropriation. The right to housing, on the other hand, recognizes the fundamental need for access to shelter and basic social connections. Under its provisions, every home is protected from demolition, and its inhabitants protected from eviction, except after a court has considered all the relevant circumstances. Moreover, South Africa’s municipal governments are responsible, within their available resources, to realize the right to adequate housing for all. Juxtaposed against one another, these rights represent claims that are often contradictory. The underlying contradiction, in many cases, is that a person’s home is not necessarily that person’s property. Such homes may exist, either as, or located on, property owned by the state or by a private entity. In such cases, where the lawful property owner is met with the unlawful appropriation of his property as someone else’s home, the right to that property and the right to housing come into conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

The ANC’s fast and furious parliamentary deliberation over the Info Bill, going through the motions

25 05 2011

In the face of sustained opposition to the Protection of Information Bill (better known as the “protection of information from investigative journalism bill”), the ANC is pushing the speedometer needle well into the danger zone as it chases deadlines at breakneck speed. But the question remains: Will it swap its Ferrari for its trusted bulldozer in the end anyway? By T O MOLEFE.

Operating under obvious pressure from above, ANC MPs grew increasingly agitated during Tuesday’s meeting of the ad hoc committee on the Protection of Information Bill. The source of their annoyance was the slow progress on deliberating clauses in the bill, and accused DA and ACDP MPs of intentionally delaying progress. Read the rest of this entry »

IPS News: “Now We Demand They Do It For the Poor”

11 08 2010

‘Now We Demand They Do It For the Poor’
By Davison Mudzingwa

CAPE TOWN, Aug 10, 2010 (IPS) – Weak floodlights barely held back gathering darkness as Somalia met Serbia in the finals of the Poor People’s World Cup. A small band of supporters were on hand to see and African side lift the cup in Cape Town’s Vygieskraal Stadium.

The Poor People’s World Cup drew 38 teams, predominantly from poor black and coloured communities far from the city’s glittering Green Point Stadium.

Two Worlds, Two Cups

Planners initially proposed Athlone, on the Cape Flats, as the site for Cape Town’s official World Cup venue, reasoning that the investment in infrastructure could breathe fresh life into this working class neighbourhood. The rows of council housing were too prosaic a backdrop for FIFA’s vision, and a picture-perfect location between mountain and sea was chosen instead.

It was left to the Poor People’s World Cup to host a tournament there, on the patchy grass of Avondale Athletics’ home ground. The teams, each adopting the name of a different country, played for a trophy and 5,000 rand (a bit less than $700) in prize money.

The tournament was originally planned to run concurrently with FIFA’s, to highlight the contrast between the daily lives of the majority of South Africans and the opulence of the World Cup proper. It began in June, but, fittingly, a struggle to find sponsors meant the finals were delayed by a full month, to Aug. 9.

Read the rest of this entry »

AEC’s Ashraf Cassiem on the World Cup

14 07 2010

Solidarity: Standing with the Poor People’s Alliance at the 2010 US Social Forum

7 07 2010

As the World Cup began in South Africa in June 2010, the social movements of the Poor People’s Alliance continue to face off against the governing elite’s escalation of harassment, repression, and displacement.  At the same time, activists gathered at the second United States Social Forum — to bring together U.S.-based movements fighting poverty, racism and oppression, within the States as well as globally.  Some of the poor people’s organizations that gathered in the embattled and resilient, majority-Black city of Detroit for the USSF had met with members of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign who visited the U.S. in 2009, finding common cause and inspiration in their creative struggles and visions for a better world.

On June 25 in Detroit, members of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Picture the Homeless, Poverty Initiative, and other movement activists at the USSF gathered to play football — as a solidarity message to our allies in South Africa and their Poor People’s World Cup games happening at the same time.

We are with you!   Aluta continua!   Amandla Ngwethu!

For past examples of New York City-based solidarity statements and actions, see here and here.

Activists threaten to stop Gugulethu mall opening if local workers aren’t used

29 10 2009

October 27, 2009 Edition 1
Quinton Mtyala – Cape Times

THE Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) has vowed to stop the opening of Cape Town’s newest mall on Thursday – in Gugulethu – unless 80 percent of its employees were from the area.
Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release: Mitchells Plain Town Centre Allocation Process Stopped

13 06 2009

CHATA (Concerned Hawkers and Traders Association) had a meeting with its members on 10 June 2009, regarding the allocation process of trading bays in Mitchells Plain Town Centre. The allocation process was completely unfair and exclusive although the city claimed they would make it transparent and would consult with the traders regarding all issues of the process.

Councillor Dennis Williams explained in a meeting on 9 June 2009 that the process has been stopped. CHATA needs clarification as to why the process has stopped and for how long. Mr. Williams was the very same councillor who agreed that the hawkers must move to the new market, despite mention that the process was exclusive of about 500 traders.

CHATA has grown from 150 members to 500 members and has formed alliances with other groups in the Town Centre.

Traders are fed up with the City not listening to them. CHATA will continue to fight for the fundamental rights of the informal traders in and around the Western Cape.

Contact: Mischka 0731286657

Tomorrow: Gugs AEC activists in court and Eastridge AEC resisting eviction

5 05 2009

Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release: Tuesday 5 May, 2009

Event: Mncedisi Twalo and Mbulelo Zuba in court
Time and Date: 09h00 on 5 May 2009
Location: Athlone Magistrates Court

Mncedisi Twalo and Mbulelo Zuba will be in Athlone Magistrate’s Court this morning to defend themselves against the ANC’s charge that they were obstructing IEC registration.

We expect that the case will be thrown out of court for lack of evidence.  If not, the AEC has hundreds of residents willing to testify in support of the defendants.

Residents of Gugulethu and other AEC members will be at the court in numbers supporting Mncedisi and Mbulelo.

See for more information about the details of the case.

Contact Pule at 073 6448 919 and Speelman at 073 9825 725 for more information

Event: Full eviction of family in Eastridge Village in Mitchell’s Plain
Date: 5 May 2009
Location: Eastridge Village in Town Centre, Mitchell’s Plain

The Eastridge family that was evicted from their home two weeks ago has been living in their yard since then.  As far as the residents know, the family will be evicted sometime today by police and the sheriff of the court.  Tomorrow, the 6th of May, a new family who has reportedly bought the house for only R50,000, is supposed to move in.  This is how government and capitalists use housing to divide the poor and have them fight for little scraps just to survive.

The community will be out in numbers protesting the eviction and will attempt to convince the police to support the poor instead of supporting Cape Town Community Housing Company.

For more information, contact Johannes at 071 416 0250

Press Alert: Joe Slovo Residents to overnight in Symphony Way, in solidarity with Delft Pavement Dwellers

28 08 2008

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
Press Alert – For Immediate Release

Thursday, 28 July 2008

Joe Slovo Residents to overnight in Symphony Way, in solidarity with Delft Pavement Dwellers

Date: Saturday, 30 August 2008
Time: 16h00
Location: Symphony Way, Delft

Delft – Following their trip to Johannesburg and attendance at the SA Constitutional Court hearing last week, residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa, Cape Town will be visiting the evicted residents of the N2 Gateway Houses along Symphony Way in Delft this Saturday. In addition to sharing the lessons of their struggle against forced relocation to the city’s Temporary Relocation Areasin Delft, Joe Slovo residents will also spend the night in the shacks along Symphony Way as a demonstration of solidarity.

This effort to build greater solidarity between the struggles of Joe Slovo and Symphony Way comes out of suggestions made by residents of both communities during their 28-hour train ride to Johannesburg. It was during this long journey that residents of Joe Slovo expressed their gratitude for the support of Symphony Way residents at their past actions and court appearances, including the last week’s Concourt hearings. Nearly thirty residents of Symphony Way chose to mark the six month anniversary of their eviction from the N2 Gateway Project Homes in Delft by joining Joe Slovo residents in traveling to Johannesburg and staying at the Central Methodist Church.

In an effort to find out more about the plight of Delft evictees, nearly three dozen Joe Slovo residents volunteered to spend the night on the pavement in Symphony Way. Some even vowed to set up shacks alongside those in Symphony if forced to relocate against their will to TRAs in Delft.

Residents of Symphony Way have also committed to overnight in Joe Slovo in a weeks time.

During the course of this trip, residents of both communities saw for themselves that the lack of decent, affordable, public housing impacts the poor, regardless of what language they speak or their “racial group”. Moreover, the need to be an active participate, rather than simply a spectator, in housing programs like the N2 Gateway Project is true for all, whether you live in an informal settlement or someone’s backyard.

For more information:

Ashraf Cassiem 076 186 1408
Mzwanele Zulu  076 385 2369


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 719 other followers