Media: Rights group to launch election boycott campaign

6 01 2009
January 05, 2009 Edition 1
Aziz Hartley
Source: The Mercury

CAPE TOWN: The Anti Eviction Campaign, an organisation that fights for the rights of the homeless, is to launch a national campaign to boycott the coming general elections because it says the government has failed the poor and politicians cannot be trusted.

Mncedisi Twalo, a campaign leader in Gugulethu, Cape Town, said yesterday the body was using “no land, no house, no jobs - no votes” as its slogan.

“We have been talking to our alliance partners, Abhahali base Mjondolo (shack dwellers’ movement) in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Homeless People’s Movement in Gauteng.

“The campaign is going to all nine provinces. We are going out there to convince poor communities that elections are all about power-mongering and promoting politicians,” said Twalo.

“We feel, as the poor, we have been left on our own and will not participate in what is now a neo-colonialist state. We will not vote, but we will keep pressuring whoever takes up public office.”

Media: ‘Councillor kicked us out’

30 09 2008
September 29 2008 at 02:51PM
By Nomangesi Mbiza
Source: Cape Argus

Squatter camp dwellers in Gugulethu have accused their ward councillor of evicting them from a community centre where they were sheltered after heavy rains flooded their shacks.

Most residents of Thambo Square squatter camp, who were sheltered in the Ikwezi community centre after their shacks were flooded in heavy rains two weeks ago, have returned home after claiming they were forcibly evicted from the centre.

The residents alleged that ward councillor Belinda Landingwe had forced them to go back to unhealthy conditions in their shacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Media: NGO steps in to help shack dwellers

25 09 2008

By Nomangesi Mbiza
September 25 2008 at 12:37PMThambo Square informal settlement residents in Gugulethu, whose shacks were flooded in recent rains, received blankets and food parcels from the International Islamic Relief organisation on Wednesday.

The plight of the residents came to light after they occupied the social services building in Gugulethu on Tuesday, seeking building materials and plastics for their shacks, as well as blankets and temporary accommodation. Read the rest of this entry »

Floods Rock The City

24 09 2008
Joint AbM and AEC Press Statement
24 September 2008

Gugulethu — About 50 residents from Thambo Square informal settlement have been displaced from their homes to a local community hall as a result of flooding in their shacks (Cape Town’s heavy rain this winter has left a lot of people homeless in the City.

The devastated group early this morning marched to the office of their local Department of Social Development seeking immediate relief or intervention such as building material for their shacks, plastic to put over their roof, blankets and a temporary sleeping place. However all they were able to get from Social Development was an unpleasing response. People were told that the ANC government had nothing to do with their situation and they must go to DA. When trying to question the unpleasing response by government, instead of receiving a proper report, the police were called to intimidate and threaten the residents. Residents then went back to their flooded homes in Thambo Square informal settlement.

‘We don’t want their soup and bread we are not hungry maybe the reason why they ill treat us they think that we are here to demand food, we only need alternatives such as relocation to better suitable land or BNG houses, not desperate for food as they think’ said frustrated Libo Meyi (). Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Guguletu AEC marched today on Helen Zille’s office

9 09 2008

September 9, 2008
Gugulethu AEC Press Statement

CAPE TOWN - The Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign marched on Helen Zille’s office at noon today.

We are angered that backyard dwellers in Gugulethu continue to live in overcrowded, inhumane conditions. Despite the fact that we have carried out an exhaustive audit of Gugulethu backyard residents who have been on the waiting list for housing for more than 20 years, we have yet to be offered housing.

We live in backyards, with up to 8 families in one backyard. We always get flooded out every time it rains but the city and province do not provide us with any relief because they seem to see us as private tenants.

We are demanding the same food parcels, blankets and building materials that are supplied to residents in informal settlements.

We also want back the building materials that the metro police stole from us on the weekend. This was when we identified an empty piece of land and tried to move on to it. We have every right to do this because the government has failed for 20 years to provide us with houses.

for more information contact Mncedisi Twalo on

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