UN affiliated COHRE letter to Mayor Dan Plato requesting a stop to Symphony Way evictions

5 10 2009

24 September 2009

Mr. Dan Plato
Executive Mayor
The Mayor’s Office
City of Cape Town
Cape Town 8001
South Africa
Fax: +27 021 400 1313

Reference: Imminent forced eviction of residents of Symphony Way, Cape Town (.pdf)

Dear Mayor Plato,

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an international human rights non-governmental organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices throughout the world. COHRE has consultative status with the United Nations and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. COHRE works to promote and protect the right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere, including preventing or remedying forced evictions. Read the rest of this entry »





Media: N2 Gateway project did not consider rights of residents, says top NGO

17 09 2009
September 14, 2009 Edition 2
WARDA MEYER – Cape Argus

A HUMAN rights NGO affiliated to the UN has released a scathing report on the N2 Gateway project, calling it badly planned and managed.

The Swiss-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (Cohre) said research and available information on the N2 Gateway project pointed to several flaws and acts of non-compliance in its planning and implementation.

The failure of housing authorities to adequately consult people or explore all feasible alternatives was likely to result in human rights violations for Joe Slovo residents, Cohre’s report said. Read the rest of this entry »





Media: Swiss NGO lashes N2 Gateway project

17 09 2009

Regan Thaw – Eyewitness News

A Swiss non-governmental grganisation has criticised the way in which the N2 Gateway project has been handled.

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions carried out a fact-finding mission late last year and released a report recently highlighting major flaws in the controversial project.

The centre says the project was poorly planned and has been badly managed.

It has warned the lack of adequate consultation with communities, such as the people from the Joe Slovo informal settlement, is likely to result in human rights violations. Read the rest of this entry »





COHRE releases scathing report on the N2 Gateway

11 09 2009

COHRE, the UN affiliated human rights NGO based in Switzerland, has just released a scathing report on the N2 Gateway project. Click here to download the report. See the Press Release by COHRE below.

For comment on how the N2 Gateway has effected the lives of poor people in Cape Town, contact:

Ashraf Cassiem at 076 186 1408 (Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign)
Kareemah Linneveldt 078 492 0943 (Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign)
Evelyn Mokoena at 0763317624 (Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign)
Mzwanele Zulu (Joe Slovo Task Team)
Luthando Ndabamba (Joe Slov N2 Gateway Phase 1 Flats)

COHRE RELEASES N2 GATEWAY PROJECT REPORT
FRIDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 2009

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) today released a report on housing rights violations in the context of the N2 Gateway development project in South Africa. The report is based on research conducted by COHRE during a fact finding mission to South Africa in 2008 and its amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) submission to the South African Constitutional Court in the recently decided “Joe Slovo” case (Residents of Joe Slovo Community, Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes & Others, CCT 22/08[2009] ZACC 16). The report –N2 Gateway Project: Housing Rights Violations as ‘Development’ in South Africa — is available at http://www.cohre.org

*** CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CORHE REPORT ***





Open Letter to Dan Plato, Helen Zille and Tokyo Sexwale from the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions

10 06 2009

9 June 2009

The Honourable Mr. Dan Plato
Mayor of Cape Town,
The Mayor’s Office,
City of Cape Town
Cape Town 8001
South Africa

Reference: Violation of housing rights of 60 families in Macassar Village, Cape Town.

Dear Mayor Plato,

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an international human rights non-governmental organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices throughout the world. COHRE has consultative status with the United Nations and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. COHRE works to promote and protect the right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere, including preventing or remedying forced evictions.
Read the rest of this entry »





Church Leaders: Oppose the Slums Act

14 05 2009

A statement from Church leadership in support of Abahlali baseMjondolo’s challenging the KZN Slums Act in the Constitutional Court on 14 May 2009.

As church leaders in South Africa we support the shackdweller movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, as it takes the struggle for the safety, dignity and equality of the poor to the Constitutional Court. We know that many people join Abahlali “because they do not want to be evicted from the cities where they already have some access to work, education, health care, libraries, sport facilities and so on. The struggle for the right to the city, for democratic cities for all, is therefore at the centre of [Abahlali's] struggle.”1 Read the rest of this entry »





Abahlali: Siyanda AbM Letter to the State Attorney

9 12 2008

Mr. B.M. Kunene
The State Attorney
391 Smith Street
Durban

Dear Mr. Kunene

Siyanda Residents Will Not Be Leaving Our Shacks for Your Transit Camp Today

On Saturday 6 December 2008 the Sheriff of the court served us with your letter in which you demanded that 61 families leave our homes by 16h00 today and move to your transit camps.

Four families have decided to comply with your demand. The other 57 families, all members of the Siyanda Abahlali baseMjondolo branch, have decided to refuse to comply with your demand.

1. The reasons for our refusal are as follows: We have land tenure in Siyanda. We were given certificates of tenure by Councillor Inba Naidoo just after 1994. We have these certificates. If you wish to remove us from land to which we have tenure in order to build your road then you will have to offer us compensation and you will have to provide us with adequate alternative houses. There is no compensation and there is no adequate alternative housing and therefore we will not go. Read the rest of this entry »





COHRE: Letter to Obed Mlaba on evictions in Siyanda

24 10 2008

The Honorable Cllr Obed Mlaba
Office of the Mayor of eThekwini
City Hall, West Street
Durban 4001
Republic of South Africa

Re: Forced relocation of shack-dwellers in Siyanda, KwaMashu

Dear Cllr Mlaba,

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) is an international human rights non-governmental organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices throughout the world. COHRE has consultative status with the United Nations and Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. COHRE works to promote and protect the right to adequate housing for everyone, everywhere, including preventing or remedying forced evictions. Read the rest of this entry »





Media: City needs transparency when dealing with poor

8 10 2008
October 08, 2008 Edition 1
Imraan Buccus in Daily News

Opinion: Report recommends greater consultation with communities in need of housing

The report on housing in Durban by the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (Cohre) is a watershed movement for this city. The report is the culmination of almost three years of work by an international team of experts and is the first comprehensive analysis of post-apartheid housing policy and practice in the city.

At 200 pages, it is a lengthy read but the basic findings are that there has been a national failure to implement the progressive 2005 Breaking New Ground policy and that, in recent years, there has been a shift from a pro-poor housing agenda to an anti-poor approach that takes the self-built housing solutions of the poor (shacks) rather than the lack of adequate housing as the key problem. This reached a peak with the highly controversial KwaZulu-Natal Slums Act. Read the rest of this entry »





COHRE report on housing rights in Durban

6 10 2008

The full text of the report (‘Business as Usual’) is available in pdf here or on the COHRE website.

COHRE Press Statement

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, based in Geneva, today released a report on housing rights in Durban. While recognizing the efforts of the eThekwini Municipality to build a considerable number of houses each year, the report concludes that the houses being built are often located so far out of town as to make them unviable for many people due to unaffordable transport costs to work, schools, and hospitals. The report also expresses serious concern about the size and quality of the houses that are being built and over the failure to provide adequate levels of basic services to shack dwellers while they wait for formal housing. In some instances levels of basic services in shack settlements are inadequate to the point of being life threatening according to COHRE’s research. Read the rest of this entry »








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