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 .

Media: Employ local people, say protesters

31 10 2008

Scores of protesters yesterday disrupted work at the construction site of the R350million “Guguletu Square” mall, demanding that the developers employ local residents.

The residents had earlier rejected a proposal by prominent local businessman and mall developer Mzoli Ngcawuzele that ANC ward councillors Andile Matshikiza and Belinda Landingwe choose the residents who will get jobs on the site.

Guguletu backyard dwellers leader Mcedisi Twalo said: “We don’t want interference by ward councilors and political parties in the job selection.”

Last week the local people marched on “Mzoli’s Place”, a restaurant owned by the same Ngcawuzele, calling on him to stop what they called “intimidation” against them.

This after Ngcawuzele had allegedly interrupted a community meeting and warned residents that former uMkhonto we Sizwe members were deployed at the development with security guards to prevent any form of protest that could delay construction.

Gugulethu will not be ruled by big-business!

15 10 2008
Gugulethu AEC Press Statement
October 16, 2008

Residents assert that Gugs will not be ruled by individuals - whether rich or poor.  Rich people like Mzoli call Gugulethu residents ‘criminals’ when they defy his vision for a corporate Gugs.  But we are not criminals and we are not corrupt.  If we were corrupt and stole money and land from the community, then we would be as rich as Mzoli.

But we will resist. We demand community development not big-business development!

Because Mzoli and Old Mutual have not responded to our demands, Gugulethu residents have decided to stop the development of the new Eyona Shopping Centre in Gugulethu.

We will intensify the struggle and make sure that we are in charge of the community.  If we get no response today, we will come back on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, please contact Mncedisi at and Speelman at .

Media: Vandalism threatens new Gugs mall

15 10 2008

By Esther Lewis
October 15 2008 at 11:45AM
Source: Cape Argus

The construction of a Gugulethu shopping centre will be halted on Thursday morning by Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) protesters if property developer Mzoli Ngcauzele does not meet their demands.

If there was no action from Ngcauzele, the AEC threatened to vandalise his home and popular Gugulethu butchery and restaurant, Mzoli’s Place.

Mncedisi Twalo, AEC spokesperson, said step two would be to bring “chocolate buckets” from the informal settlements and empty them on his properties. As a last resort they would burn tyres in the streets.

The war of words erupted on Tuesday as the AEC and about 60 residents marched on Ngcauzele and called him a “black wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Read the rest of this entry »

Photos: Gugulethu residents protest Mzoli and his underhanded business practices

14 10 2008

Gugulethu residents to protest against new Mall backed the famous Mzoli and Old Mutual

13 10 2008

Guguelthu Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
14 October, 2008

Begin: Gugulethu Sports Complex
End: Mzoli’s Place
Time: 15h00

Later today, the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign will be marching with Eyona tenants to Mzoli’s Place - a tourist hotspot and famous butchery/nightclub.

Months ago, small and informal business were evicted from Eyona Shopping Centre to make way for a new Mall. While this development is primarily being financed by Old Mutual, Mr. Mzoli Ngcauzela (whom residents have dubbed black wolf with sheep skin) has been Old Mutual’s strongman in dealing with the community.

On Sunday, Mzoli showed up to the AEC’s weekly mass meeting escorted by ANC members, taxi bosses and local thugs. They interrupted the meeting and told the community that “no one is going to stop the development”. They also warned that former members of Mkhonto we Sizwe were being deployed at the development alongside security guards to prevent any form of protest that could delay construction.

As a result, the community has decided to take their protest to Mzoli’s famous butchery and restaurant. While outside the township he has a good reputation (attracting politicians, tourists and other wealthy visitors to his butchery), in Gugs he is known for the mess, public drunkenness and violence that his butchery brings to the neighborhood. Throughout Gugs, he is also known for his suspicious business dealings and corrupt connections to politicians.

Gugulethu AEC demands that:
1.The community is meaningfully consulted about the shopping centre.
2.All informal traders are guaranteed space to conduct their business
3.Mzoli immediately ends his intimidation of residents.

For more information, contact Mncedisi at and Speelman at

AEC: Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre Hawkers Fight Back Against Forced Removals

29 07 2008

Mitchell’s Plain – After participating in the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign’s recent General Meeting and marching in the 24 July March against Housing Privatization, the Mitchell’s Plain Concerned Hawkers and Traders is set to join the AEC. Like the Gatesville Hawkers and the informal traders of Gugulethu, the traders of the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre face forced removal by city officials and well-connected business people, a conflict that once again pits the nation’s first economy against the informal sector.

The struggle that gave rise to this new organization began on 13 March 2008, when SAPS and Metro Police, backed by the Army and the Dog Unit, raided this bustling town centre on the Cape Flats, cracking down, not on criminal activity, but the dozens of men and women who make their living selling everything from fruits and vegetables to cigarettes and children’s clothes. Without warning, police began breaking down hawkers’ stalls and removing goods.

“I questioned Inspector Joubert, asking him why is this thing be done,” explained Mieshka Cassiem of Lenteguer. “He said that they were ordered by their director to clean up the stands and clear them out.” It was only by resisting these evictions that the hawkers were able to prevent their relocation from the sides of the Town Centre’s busy passage ways to an isolated area on its outskirts.

Read the rest of this entry »