Abahlali: Kennedy Road Fire Update

15 07 2008
Abahlali baseMjondolo very much appreciates the fact that these days, after years of struggle, the fire department and the media come to shack fires. The service from the fire department is now very good and the media treat us with respect when they come and talk to us and they write about us like we are people. But we remain concerned that the focus of the media is so often on the accident that caused the fire. It is important to remember that the reason why a small accident in a shack will mean that 140 families lose their homes while a small acident in a house is just a small accident is because:

1. Since 2002 the eThekwini has refused to electrify shacks forcing people to rely on dangerous sources of heat and lighting like candles, fires and parafin stoves.
2. The eThekwini Municipality has failed to provide housing for its people while recklessly and irresponsibly wasting money on stadiums and themeparks and the AI Grand Prix, 2010 etc.

We are also concerned about the behaviour of the councillors and other officials. They are everywhere in the media talking about what they will do for us but they are not here with us talking to us and planning our future with us. We would like to remind everyone that we fired our councillor in 2005 and that since then we have spoken for ourselves. Some of the officials are saying that the people must not rebuild and will be moved into a transit camp tomorrow. Others have said that the council will provide building materials. Abahlali rejects transit camps as a new form of oppression. PEOPLE NEED DECENT HOUSING IN THE CITIES AND PROPER SERVICES IN THE SETTLEMENTS WHILE THEY WAIT AND NOT TRANSIT CAMPS WHICH ARE JUST A NEW FORM OF OPPRESSION.

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Backyard residents march for equality

15 07 2008
By Mikhaila Crowie
15 July - Bush Radio

Those living in The Backyards of Gugulethu, Langa and Nyanga have accused the government of not doing enough to help them.

The backyard-dwellers feel that government only help those involved in high profile cases and ignores the plight of people living in the backyard.
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Gugs: Back-yard dwellers highlight their plight

15 07 2008
15 July 2008
Anna Majavu
Source: Sowetan

Scores of Guguletu’s back-yard dwellers protested outside the municipal buildings yesterday in a bid to highlight their winter plight.

They said that elderly backyard dwellers and children had become very ill during the recent floods and had been overlooked during the city’s relief efforts.

“We are not happy that we don’t get blankets and medicines during the winter floods even though we are also flooded on a yearly basis,” the group’s representative, Mncedisi Twalo, said.

Cape Town mayoral committee member Dan Plato said it was “a tall order to provide everyone with blankets and medicines every year”.

Twalo estimated that there are almost 10 000 back-yard dwellers in Guguletu. He said there are up to three shacks in most back yards, and up to eight people living in each of these shacks.
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