Legal: Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

8 01 2009
Excerpt on South Africa
South African Constitutional Court
Various Occupiers v. City of Johannesburg and others, CCT 24/07
South African Constitutional Court

Facts: The City of Johannesburg has carried out forced evictions in the inner city in the context of the Johannesburg Inner City Regeneration Strategy (ICRS), aimed at creating an ‘African World Class City’ and attracting investment. The strategy includes the clearance of an estimated 235 ‘bad buildings’, which are regarded as being at the centre of developmental ‘sinkholes’. The Johannesburg City Council has obtained urgent eviction orders under the pretence of being concerned for the health and safety of residents. However, evictions have been carried out in the middle of the night and without notice. While conditions in many of the buildings are appalling, the procedures used by the municipality are grossly unfair, including the use of Apartheid-era laws and regulations. In addition, people are not consulted or offered any viable alternatives. In the name of safety and health in the buildings, residents have been made homeless and left on the streets to fend for themselves. The strategy affects approximately 67 000 residents of ‘bad buildings’. Read the rest of this entry »

Demolition: uMngeni gets court order; residents evicted

16 12 2008
15 Dec 2008
Thando Mgaga

More than a hundred residents were left homeless after the uMngeni Municipality bulldozed their shacks to the ground at kwaKani informal settlement near the Cedara College yesterday.

Families with children — among them orphans in the care of neighbours — were left to fend for themselves in the rain. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: A forced removal to allow for ‘progress’

13 12 2008

The eMacambini community is challenging the government’s plan to build a theme park on its ancestral land, writes PETER MACHEN

THE north coast of KwaZulu- Natal is dotted with towns gradually filling up with strip malls and gated communities blocking the view . Tuscan, Balinese and modernist architecture have obliterated views of rolling green hills and blue sea.

A little further up the coast, a local community is challenging this notion of “the end of history”.

They are defending a richly lived rural life against the virus of development .

The people of eMacambini have lived surrounded by a beautiful landscape for generations — with little extreme poverty and crime, in a place where community is more important than political affiliation.

Now their way of life is being threatened by the proposed development of the Amazulu World Theme Park .

The planned R44m development by Dubai-based Ruwaad Holdings will occupy 16500ha.

In addition to the theme park, plans include the largest shopping centre in Africa, a game reserve, six golf courses, residential facilities, sports fields and a statue of Shaka at the Thukela river mouth.

To achieve this, the eMacambini community is going to be displaced, 29 schools will be demolished along with 300 churches, three clinics and brand-new RDP houses. Ancestral graves will also be displaced. And between 20000 and 50000 people will be forcibly removed. Read the rest of this entry »

Symphony Way: Still waiting for shelter

9 12 2008

Note: The Anti-Eviction Campaign and Jeanne Hromnik are extremly upset at the headline which was introduced unilaterally by the editor. It implies that the community parties while ignoring their children.  This is a disgusting insult and the editor should apologize for implying that the community neglects its children. In reality, the community of Symphony Way have set up a children’s committee to run the community creche, a netball and soccer team, and always makes sure the children get fed first (before the adults) and go to school.

Source: The Weekender
Homeless people who have not been accommodated in Cape Town’s N2 Gateway housing project party while their children fear eviction, writes JEANNE HROMNIK

AT SYMPHONY Way in Delft, squatters have built shacks on either side of the road alongside the N2 Gateway Project houses they occupied illegally and were evicted from in February last year. Now they are fighting the prospect of eviction from their shacks.

They say if that happens they will set up camp elsewhere and wait for another eviction.

They have already survived the torrential rain of the past winter.

They have vowed never to move to the temporary relocation areas that the government built outside Delft, about 40km from Cape Town. The temporary relocation areas are grim and hazardous places and already accommodate thousands of people with little hope of moving out.

Symphony Way — the newly constructed extension between the N2 highway and the Stellenbosch arterial route — had its grand opening last year, a few months before the pavement dwellers were brutally evicted and left without shelter. Their unwelcome presence on the road forced the city to block off the section of Symphony Way between Silversands and Hindle Road.

Recently 12 of us — an odd group of friends, united by a common interest in getting to know each other — came to Symphony Way for a party.

It’s the South African way of dealing with problems. Toyi- toyiing and singing. 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

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 »

AbM: Bheki Cele Threatens 66 Families with Forced Removal

8 12 2008
Sunday, 07 December 2008
Siyanda Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement

Transport MEC Bheki Cele Threatens 66 Families in Siyanda with Forced Removal to one of the Notorious “Transit Camps”

On Saturday the Sheriff of the Court served a letter from the State Attorney on 66 families in Siyanda, KwaMashu. This letter instructs us to leave our homes by 16h00 this Tuesday, 9 December. More than 300 hundred people in our community are now at risk of forced removal to the notorious ‘transit camps’.

The letter states that our homes will be demolished after Tuesday and that we will be moved to “temporal houses” or “transit camps” to make way for the new MR 577 Freeway.  The letter warns us that should residents “refuse or resist the relocation in any manner, whatsoever, the MEC for Transport will bring an application on an urgent basis to evict them from the road reserve and further seek costs against them.”

This is pure intimidation. Bheki Cele has no court order demanding our eviction and if he tries to have us evicted without a court order he will be guilty of a criminal act. If he tries to evict us legally he will have to make an application to the court and we will have the right to defend our community in the court - this is due process as laid out in the law. We have a right to oppose any eviction and this is not something for which Cele can claim costs against us. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: Cops break up protest over KZN development

5 12 2008
Source: Mail & Guardian

Police used pepper-spray and rubber bullets to disperse 3 000 people who had closed off a section of the N2 highway on Thursday in protest against a R44-bn development in the area.

Early morning traffic was brought to a standstill as protestors burnt tractor tyres and logs on the national highway.

Disgruntled residents from the eMacambini area on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast KwaDukuza and Richards Bay were protesting against KZN premier Sbu Ndebele’s failure to respond to community concerns about the proposed development.

A memorandum handed to his office last week had elicited no response.

Moffat Chili, a member of the eMacambini Anti-removal Committee (MAC), said that at the time of going to press, there had been reports of 23 people being injured by police rubber bullets. Read the rest of this entry »

Eyona Tenants joining in opposition to Guguletu Square Mall

1 12 2008
Guguelthu AEC Press Statement
1st December, 2008

Today, the Gugulethu AEC, with the support of church goers, students and other local businesses, will close down construction of the Gugulethu Mall at 11h30am.

Eyona tenants who have already been evicted and who still face the threat of eviction, are now joining in solidarity with poor residents of the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign. Both are now opposing the corruption, lack of consultation, and anti-local orientation of the new Gugulethu mall.

The development of the Gugueltu Square Mall will destroy local businesses, sideline informal traders, and undermine resident’s ability to drive the development process. As much as big businesses would like it to have a human face, this near billion rand project will not benefit more than a couple residents from Gugulethu.

Facts about Eyona tenants threatened with eviction:
1.SS Skhoma Butchery and Shirley Sigasana Takeway built their own structures and have traded in these structures at the old Eyona Shopping Centre for more than 25 years.
2.Eyona Tenants’ first landlord was Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) under the old Apartheid government. After 1994, the new government (on behalf of the people) became the owner. The government itself along with government organisations such as the DTI and Khula made promises of ownership towards Eyona tenants.
3.Eventually, without the community’s consent or consultation, government sold the land for R11.70 to Khula which then proceeded to directly engage big-business and ignore pass promises and obligations towards the community.
4.With regards to the development of the Gugulethu mall, the DTI and Khula have manipulated and undermined the Eyona Tenants. All their promises have been made without written documentation. Along with the developers, they refuse to sign any type of lease agreements to ensure that their promises of space to trade become a reality.
5.While the Eyona Tenants (in conjunction with the residents of Gugulethu) should own the land on which the mall is being built, they have received no compensation from government for the selling of their land towards helping establish big-business in Gugs.
6.Instead, our democratically elected government is actively helping Khula, Wst Side Trading, Old Mutual and Group 5 in their unfair and deceitful evictions of the Gugulethu Eyona Tenants.
7.By 30 November 2008, the remaining structure of the old shopping centre (the Butchery, Take-away and the Garage) are supposed to be vacated and then demolished. But without a court order, any attempted eviction will be illegal.

Today, 1st December 2008 at 11h30, the Gugulethu community (including members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, students, church goes and other local businesses) will show their support for the Eyona Tenants by stopping construction on the mall and protecting the remaining structures from being demolished.

The Struggle Continues!

For comment, please call Mncedisi at and Speelman at .

‘Do not steal our land’

27 11 2008

NO WAYS: Residents of Macambini in northern KwaZulu-Natal marched to the Richards Bay town centre to protest against a proposed leisure and residential development in their area. PHOTO: Thuli Dlamini

The angry community of Macambini, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday vowed to disrupt economic activity between Durban and Richards Bay on the North Coast.

More that 5000 angry residents wielding home-made weapons were protesting against a proposed R55billion tourism and residential project in their area.

They marched for about 10km to the centre of Richards Bay to hand over a document outlining their grievances to the local municipality.

The marchers’ anger was aimed at Premier S’bu Ndebele, whom they accused of announcing a Ruwaad-led development initiative without their consent. Read the rest of this entry »

Stockpile of information on eMacambini/AmaZulu World evictions

27 11 2008

We will be posting as much information about the proposed eMacambini forced removals that are set to make way for the 55 billion Rand theme park dubbed AmaZulu World.  This massive elitist project will be 10 times the size of Sun City.

Press Statements and Memoranda:

  • 2008/12/05 Two Friday updates with facts on eMacambini blockade
  • 2008/12/04 Three Urgent Press Alerts on day’s road blockadge and police shootings
  • 2008/11/26 Memorandum of Grievences to the KZN Premier from the People of Macambini
  • 2008/11/25 Ten Thousand to March on S’bu Ndebele in Protest at eMacambini Evictions


News articles: