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 »

‘Tin Town’ residents now threaten to boycott elections

19 04 2011
18 April 2011 – Sowetan
RESIDENTS of Cape Town’s ‘Tin Town’ transit camp say they will not vote in the May 18 local government elections unless they get houses first.

More than 5000 people live in one-room tin shacks in a part of Delft, better known by its nickname of Blikkiesdorp, about 20km from the city centre.

At least 3000 are estimated to be of voting age and their votes will be pivotal in deciding who wins the Delft ward currently held by the DA’s Cynthia Claasen. Read the rest of this entry »

Guardian: Life in ‘Tin Can Town’ for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup

1 04 2010

Campaigners say conditions in Blikkiesdorp or ‘Tin Can Town’ are worse than in the townships created during apartheid

David Smith Cape Town
Guardian, Thursday 1 April 2010 21.50 BST
For more photos in the Guardian, click here.

Youths playing football in Blikkiesdorp, Cape Town
Youths playing football in Blikkiesdorp, Cape Town. Photograph: Gareth Kingdon

Children squint as wind whips the grey sand into their faces. A teenager braves the flies and stench of a leaking outdoor toilet to draw water from a standpipe. He stares vacantly along regimented rows of corrugated iron shacks encircled by a tall, concrete fence. No grass or trees grow here.

This is Tin Can Town, or Blikkiesdorp, described by the mayor of Cape Town as a “temporary relocation area” (TRA), but by its residents as a concentration camp. Many say they were forcibly evicted from their former homes and moved here against their will. And for this they blame one thing: the football World Cup. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: ‘We don’t want to live in Tin Can Town’

9 11 2009

09 November 2009
Anna Majavu – Sowetan

CAPE Town’s homeless people have accused the metro police of forcibly moving them to the Blikkiesdorp “temporary relocation area” – only for the city’s land invasion unit to

‘CONCENTRATION CAMP’: Children walk between the zinc houses that were built in Delft, about 30km from Cape Town, as a “temporary” relocation area before people are moved to houses. Photo: Roger Sedres

evict them for invading land.

Sowetan interviewed eight adults and seven children who had been removed by police from some caves along the R300 highway where they were living.

They were placed in one of Blikkiesdorp’s tiny shacks. But just two hours after the interview, the residents were evicted by the city’s land invasion unit and their belongings dumped along a busy arterial road.

They told Sowetan that police had arrived at their caves three weeks ago, picked them up and “dumped them” in Blikkiesdorp, Delft, about 30km from Cape Town. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Electricity issue sparks outrage in Blikkiesdorp

20 10 2009

October 16, 2009 Edition 1 – Cape Times

WITH hopes of finding an alternative to Blikkiesdorp dashed, members of the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign will today meet with the City of Cape Town about the terms of the relocation of people living illegally on the pavement in Delft.

But the community has indicated that a relocation as soon as Monday will not be possible until several conditions are in place. Read the rest of this entry »

Symphony Way Mediations Continue Tomorrow – 9h00

13 10 2009

Mediation process continues tomorrow – 9h00 at the Council Depot in Delft

This afternoon, Symphony Way pavement dwellers of the Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign met with the city to begin the mediation process regarding the pending evictions of the community from Symphony Way. The community appeared in the Cape Town High Court on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. The judge ordered that there must be a mediation process to end with a solution.

Today the Symphony Way pavement dwellers engaged with the city and asked for alternatives to the “Blikkiesdorp” Temporary Relocation Area where they are refusing to move based on its inhumane conditions. But the only option the city is offering is Blikkiesdorp.

Tomorrow at 9am at the Council Depot in Delft, the Symphony Way community is going back to meet with the city to see what can be done and to discuss further alternatives to Blikkiesdorp.

Any mediators are invited to attend and assist with the process.

For more information please contact: Ashraf Cassiem 0761861408 and Evelyn 072-748-6864

Symphony Way Mediation Process Begins Today 13h00 – Mediators Invited to Assist

13 10 2009

The Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign is attending a meeting today at 13h00 at the Council Depot in Delft to start the process of mediation with the city per the court order.

Symphony Way pavement dwellers appeared in the Cape Town High Court on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009. The order by the judge was that there must be a mediation process that needs to end with a solution. This week the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign will engage with the city as the community is standing strong on opposing to be moved to the “Blikkiesdorp” Temporary Relocation Area.

All mediators who will be helpful to the process are invited to attend today and assist with the forthcoming solution.

For more information please contact: Ashraf Cassiem 0761861408 or Evelyn 072-748-6864

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 »


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