About Us

The Aim of AEC
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign was formed on November 2000 with the aim of fighting evictions, water cut-offs and poor health services, obtaining free electricity, securing decent housing, and opposing police brutality.

The AEC is currently an umbrella body for over 15 community organizations, crisis committees, and concerned residents movements who have come together to organise and demand their rights to basic services. The organisations that make up the AEC, include:

  • Concerned QQ Section Residents (Khayelitsha)
  • Tafelsig Anti-Eviction Campaign (Mitchell’s Plain)
  • Silvertown Anti-Eviction Campaign (Athlone)
  • Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers (Gugulethu)
  • Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign (Hanover Park)
  • Gympie Street Residents Committee (Woodstock)
  • Leiden Anti-Eviction Campaign (Delft)
  • Delft Symphony Anti-Eviction Campaign (Delft)
  • Eastridge Anti Eviction Campaign
  • Wesbank Anti-Eviction Campaign

Affiliated movements and committees we have worked with in Cape Town:

  • Joe Slovo Liberative Residents (Langa)
  • Hangberg Solution Seekers Association (Hout Bay)
  • Mandela Park Youth Solidarity Forum (Khayelitsha)
  • Tafelsig People’s Forum
  • KTC Concerned Residents Movement

The Poor People’s Alliance

Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, together with with Landless People’s Movement,  the Rural Network and the Abahlali baseMjondolo, is part of  the Poor People’s Alliance - a network of radical poor people’s movements.

Role of AEC Coordinators

As one AEC activist put it: “As coordinators of the anti-eviction campaign, we are not leaders in the traditional authoritarian sense. Instead, we are like a set of cutlery. We are the tools that are there to be used by poor communities fighting against the cruel and oppressive conditions of South African society. Power to the poor people!”

AEC Current Activities
The AEC is fighting evictions and water and electricity cut-offs on many different levels. Its current activities range from direct action demonstrations against evictions and cut-offs. Activities range from legal actions that challenge the constitutionality of evictions, to mass mobilisation and popular education initiatives, to creative organisation and capacity building programs. Some of its current activities are as follows:

  • Direct Action. Aside from organising mass marches and demonstrations against evictions, the AEC directly challenges evictions as they are taking place. The AEC protects families from being evicted primarily by staging sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at turning away government and privatised security forces that come to evict families. For those families who have already been evicted, the AEC often responds by moving them and their belongings back into their homes. Should these tactics prove unsuccessful in waving off evictions and in instances where the government is determined to move forward with evictions, the AEC has at times responded by rendering the contested property unliveable, saying if the people cannot have the land, then no one will.
  • Legal Challenges. The AEC’s Legal Aid Team provides much needed free legal advice to all those affected by the possibilities of evictions and forced removals.

  • Mass Mobilisation and Popular Education. The AEC is currently involved in a wide spread mobilisation campaign to get communities from all around the Western Cape involved with the AEC. Via mass public meetings and more targeted activists workshops, the AEC has engaged in popular education initiatives around the issues of evictions, and water and electricity cut-offs. Through it’s popular education activities, the AEC works to make the linkages between people’s concrete experiences with evictions and cut-offs, the government’s macro economic strategy GEAR and its privatisation policies. By mobilising the communities around these issues, the AEC hopes to build a mass political base from which to challenge evictions, one that the government will be forced to listen to and think about before continuing with its eviction policies.

  • Organisation Capacity Building. The AEC is currently embarking on various activities geared toward building the strength and capacity of the Campaign. In an effort to develop the capacity of its Legal Aid Team, the AEC has taken part (and continues to take part) in a legal research training courses offered by a number of organisations. The skills learned in these courses are used in order to help community members in dealing with legal documents and procedures relating to evictions and cut-offs. They also to facilitate the strength and number of the legal challenges against evictions. By building up the skills of our members, we are able to also conduct research on the socio-economic affects of evictions and water and electricity cut-offs. This research is used not only to give empirical evidence to the Campaign’s counter arguments against GEAR and privatisation, but is also used to take the Campaign forward in terms of developing concrete alternatives to such policies.
  • Democratising Communities. The Anti-Eviction Campaign works to democratise the internal governance of poor communities as they attempt to mobilise and stand up for their rights. We assist communities in setting up participatory platforms whereby all residents are able to challenge their elected leaders and hold them accountable.

5 responses to “About Us”

23 02 2008
Viola Wilkins (10:47:08) :

Greetings from Melbourne Australia !

We shall tell the listeners to our Squatters & Unwaged Workers Airwaves Show next Friday February 29th about this injustice and your struggle.

In solidarity with homeless and working people there from the same folks here !

Reminds me of an old “music hall song”:
it’s the same the whole world over
its the poor that gets the blame
its the rich that has the pleasure
ain’t it all a bleeding shame !


28 02 2008
Jerome Pienaar (10:40:38) :

To Delft Residents

Your struggle for a decent home still continues. There is only one reason why: our “beloved” government (after being in power for a couple of years) have forgotten what the struggle was all about. The Freedom Charter says: there shall be houses, security and comfort. It looks like the ANC amended this to: There shall be houses security and comfort to those who are bigwigs in the party.

I left the party a long time ago because of the injustices. People you must realise that the only tool you can use against the government is your numbers. Vote them out. Please people I ask you not to vote with the colour of your skins but with your heads.

Stay strong

11 06 2008
Ish (11:53:05) :

Hi Guys,

Being a humanitarian myself, I admire what you are trying to achieve. However I have come from a poor past and therefore always try to help people in need. I have done so 2 years ago and charged minimal rent with no deposit after people desperately asked me to enter into a short term agreement to help them.

2 years on, after being very compassionate, Interest rates have hiked, my wife’s not working and I now need to get a higher rental income to keep what I have worked so hard for.

I gave them notice in February and they are still not out. So - to put it realistically. I am about to lose my house and uproot my family ’cause I am not allowed to do anything about defaulting payers if I can’t afford a lawyer.

In other words, you are doing goodwork but there are landlords from within our communities, like myself, being trodden on and ripped apart by the current legislation.

Be aware of us as well.

13 01 2009
Sipho (10:45:30) :

Good Day, I have recently read in the news that your organization is planning a boycott of the general election this year - Why don’t you encourage your members to vote for SOMEONE ELSE where they might see results ? A Boycott is pathetic, every citizen has a right to vote for something they believe in - If the ruling party is not helping your cause then vote for someone else.

13 01 2009
AHMED (12:14:03) :

Recent newspaper reports state that your organisation is asking for a boycott of the elections, due to non delivery, what about asking the IEC to print one more option at the BOTTOM of the BALLOT PAPER - “NONE OF THE ABOVE” … this way they all will know we are not happy with all of them and they all must apply their minds and reach some consensus and stopping playing opposition politics.

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