Media: Backyard dwellings growing - SAIRR

25 11 2008

Note: This is not good news and is clearly a result of anti-poor policies such as the KZN Slums act and illegal actions by the Land Invasions Unit.

November 25 2008 at 09:47AM
Source: SAPA

More and more informal dwellings are being built as backyard properties and not in informal settlements, the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Tuesday.

According to a SAIRR report, between 1996 and 2007, the total number of households residing in informal dwellings grew by 24,2 percent from 1,45 million to 1,80 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass meeting of the Wesbank AEC to fight against corruption and lack of housing

10 11 2008

Wesbank Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
November 11, 2008

Event: Wesbank AEC public meeting
Venue: Wesbank Primary School number 1
Time: 19h00

Recurring eviction problems have been going on in our community since 2001. In 2001, our community elected a housing committee to help us solve all housing related issues in our area.

Still, people were evicted by the Kuilsriver court and with the help of lawyers paid for by corrupt landowners. The community turned to committee members such as Mrs. Brady, Mrs, Sameuls, and Grace Blaauw for help who then went on to pressure government. We went to ex-Mayor Mfeketo as well as current Mayor Helen Zille. We went to ex-minister of housing Mr. Transman and ex-minister of housing Mr. Richard Dyantyi, We even approached the ex-premier, Mr. Rasool.

All of the above people were just full of empty promises.

In Wesbank there is a lot of coruption going on all the time - but no one except the poor in our community take notice. Most of the homeowners here have ever even lived in their houses but instead rent them out at hight rates in order to make money off of the poor. Backyard dwellers are also in a very vulnerable position in our community - their voices also need to be heard.

As we have mentioned, we sought help from many government officials and NGOs, but the only ones that supported our struggle were the communities of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign. They were the only people that listened to us and struggled with us.

We, the Wesbank Anti-Eviction Campaign will hold a mass meeting in our community this evening, 11th of November, 2008. Everybody is invited! Everybody is welcome!

For more information, contact 302

Vukani: AEC Gives Housing MEC Ultimatum

2 10 2008
Vukani - AEC give housing MEC Ultimatum

Vukani - AEC give housing MEC Ultimatum

Vukani - AEC gives housing MEC Ultimatum

Vukani - AEC gives housing MEC Ultimatum

Backyard dwellers take their defiance campaign to social services

23 09 2008
Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Alert
23 September, 2008 at 13h10
Gugulethu — Backyard dwellers from Gugulethu, Nyanga and Langa have now decided to occupy the social services building in Gugulethu to protest against the city’s refusal to release empty land for landless residents of the area and also to highlight the government’s refusal to provide basic flood relief for backyard dwellers in the area.
The scene is tense and backyard dwellers of all ages remain defiant.  Residents have already march to the MEC for Housing, attempted to occupy empty land three times, and march to the Mayor as well. 
Say residents: we know that we deserve services, that wedeserve land, that we deserve housing. We vow to stay in the building distrupting services until the government agrees to support our demands
We will not go down without a fight!
Amandla Ngawethu!
For more information, contact

Media: Backyard dwellers moved at gunpoint

22 09 2008
By Mandisi Tyulu
22 September 2008
Source: Bush Radio

About 300 backyard dwellers have returned to the open piece of land on Lansdowne Road, next to the Fezeka municipal buildings and are going to start building their shacks there.

The community has twice tried to occupy this land, yesterday and last weekend, and the dwellers were on both times driven away at gunpoint by the police and metro cops.

Anti Eviction Campaign co-coordinator Mncedisi Twalo says this is very unjust as they have with them their “red cards” showing that they joined the housing waiting list many years ago, and besides, they have been promised this piece of land as backyarders by many different politicians especially just before elections.

“The community has vowed to go to the land every day and try to erect their shacks, until they succeed in getting the right to live on the land permanently”.

Media: Backyard dwellers livid after MEC’s ‘no-show’

16 09 2008

Note: The new MEC had promised after last Saturday’s march to come to our mass meeting. The place was full and residents were angry and upset that he wasted their time and that he is not willing to engage with residents.

By Natasha Prince
September 15 2008 at 07:57PM
Source: Cape Argus

Gugulethu backyard dwellers have given newly-appointed Housing MEC Whitey Jacobs seven more days to determine what will be done about their housing situation, after attempts to protest outside his home were thwarted by police.

The residents, who host weekly meetings at a local community sports hall, issued the ultimatum after they were prevented from marching on Jacobs’s house in Malunga Park near the Gugulethu police station on Sunday when he allegedly failed to arrive for a meeting they had called. Read the rest of this entry »

Rubbish dumped in MEC’s garden

8 09 2008
By Aziz Hartley
September 08 2008 at 10:39AM
Source: Cape Times

Housing MEC Whitey Jacobs faced the ire of some Gugulethu, Nyanga and Langa backyard dwellers who marched to his house in Gugulethu and dumped their refuse in his garden.

The backyarders kept a promise they made in August when they invaded a piece of land off Lansdowne Road on Saturday, but Metro Police arrived and blocked their progress.

Incensed, the 300 people walked a kilometre to Jacobs’s house, emptied rubbish bins in his garden and demanded he address their housing concerns.

“People decided to go to the MEC’s house in Malunga Park near the Gugulethu police station. We collected rubbish bins on the way and waited for the MEC as we wanted to show him we mean business. He came with bodyguards and lots of police. He appeared upset when we told him how long people waited for houses,” said Mncedisi Twalo, Gugulethu chairperson of the Anti-eviction Campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Pictures and Video: Backyard dwellers march on MEC’s home

8 09 2008

Backyard Dwellers of Gugulethu, Nyanga, New Crossroads and Langa occupy empty land just of Landsdowne Rd in Gugulethu

6 09 2008

Update on this weekend’s attempted land occupation:

While attempting to occupy vacant land in Gugulethu (see original statement below), residents were interrupted by over 50 police officers who, at gun point, illegally stole residents’ building materials and threatened to attack residents if they resisted.  Angry about the situation, residents decided to march on Housing MEC Whitey Jacob’s home in the upscale Malunga Park area of Gugulethu.

In order to get the attention of Jacobs who, like his predecessor, has not been listening to the grievances of Cape Town’s poor, residents decided to clean up the trash from a near-by informal settlement and place it in front of the MEC’s home.  After Jacob’s arrived in his brand-new volvo SUV with his body-guard and four police vehicles at his side, he was presented with this attached memorandum.

Once Jacobs agreed to engage with residents at their weekly meetings, residents decided to clean up all the trash as a good-will gesture.  But angry residents warned the MEC that if he continues with the anti-poor policies and the authoritarian approach of his predecessor, more mass action will take place.

For your interest, here are some pictures of the march and peaceful protest at the MEC’s home and a short video with some Toyi-Toying.


On a more humorous note:

The MEC asked the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign for the physical address of the Gugulethu branch of movement.  Residents replied that the address is the Gugulethu Sports Complex where they hold their weekly mass meetings.  Confused, the MEC replied that as an organisation, the AEC must have an office of some kind.  But residnets were adamant: We are not an organisation, we are a social movement.  We exist only because residents attend our actions. We don’t have an office. Our meeting places is the Sports Complex, and if you want to correspond with us, you must come to our mass meetings held there every Sunday.  Because the MEC has no understanding of working with the people instead of on their behalf, he is oblivious on how to engage with residents of Gugulethu.  Hopefully, at our meeting next sunday, we can teach him a thing or two about democracy.


Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Saturday September 6, 2008 at 12:30

Gugulethu – After attempting to highlight pervasive corruption in the allocation of housing by occupying empty flats in a Langa housing development last month, Backyard Dwellers are now taking action against the City and the Province by occupying empty land in Gugulethu.

While all different levels of government continue to refuse to allocate well-located land to shackdwellers, backyarders and other poor people, government officials see no problem releasing land for new Shoprite developments, malls, golf-courses, and other big-business oriented “urban renewal projects”. Officials continue to claim that there is no open land in Cape Town. Yet this city has one of the highest rates of urban sprawl and has more open land than most big cities in the Global South.

Even though the South African government doesn’t seem to understand this hypocrisy, backyard dwellers (some of whom have been on the waiting list for over 20 years) no longer have the patience stay cramped up in peoples backyards any longer. This is why Anti-Eviction Backyard Dwellers from Gugulethu, Nyanga, New Crossroads and Langa have decided to take matters into their own hands.

The AEC Backyard Dwellers are currently setting up their new informal homes in Gugulethu just off of Landsdowne Rd. The ELF# for the piece of land is RR448. Press and well-wishers are invited to come to the scene immediately to support the residents in their action to secure a livelihood for themselves and their families.

The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign would also like to use this action to welcome Mr Whitey Jacobs, the MEC for Housing in the Western Province, to his new job. We hope that he will have the political courage and humility to listen to the words of Cape Town’s poor and oppressed rather than follow the demands of his bosses and the private sector.

The poor must claim their right to drive the so-called Peoples Housing Process.

Power to the poor people!

For more information and for directions, please contact Mncedisi Twalo at

Housing protesters tell of ‘horror’ attack

4 08 2008
Aziz Hartley
August 04 2008 at 07:29AM
Source: Cape Times

Gugulethu backyard dwellers who tried to occupy unfinished flats in Langa at the weekend, on Sunday told of the “horror” they experienced when people armed with knobkieries and bricks launched a violent attack on them.

Saturday’s occupation, led by the Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC,) was meant to be peaceful and to protest against the long wait for housing, but yesterday a number of its supporters told how the vicious attack left them with bruised limbs, fractured ribs and head injuries. Read the rest of this entry »