Woodstock to March Against Evictions

30 07 2008

March Against Evictions

No Land No House No Vote

When: Friday, 1st of August 2008
From: Gympie Street, Woodstock, via Sir Lowry Rd, into Buitenkant Str, turn into Barrack Str, turn right onto Parade Street to Court
To: Magistrate Court, Cape Town (between Buitenkant str & Parade str)
Time: Start point depart 7h30 arrival at Court 8h30

For four years now, we the people of Gympie Street have been living under the threat of evictions from our landlord. Different people have been coming around to us claiming to represent our landlord and wanting to collect rent. In the past our landlord has evicted us in the middle of winter, just like the previous apartheid regime. The landlord has also used all sorts of intimidation tactics, for example removing the water meters in our homes; working with the police to arrest and threaten residents; and collaborating with the City Council in a bid to cut off our electricity.

It is clear that the threatened mass eviction of families who have been staying in the area for decades, is part of the gentrification process (linked to the World Cup) to clear the City Centre of the poor so that the landlords and the elite can profit and move into the area. We also feel that the move to evict us from Gympie Street is part of the problem of Xenophobia in South Africa, because many of the residents were originally from other parts of Africa. Now the landlord has again taken court action against us to try and DUMP us and our families on the outskirts of the City.

For more information contact

Willy Heyn
Zehir Omar

Memoranda from this morning’s Anti-Eviction Campaign March

24 07 2008

Below you will find the text from the memoranda presented to MEC Richard Dyantyi, Thubelisha Homes, and Trafalgar Property Management at today’s march. Unfortunately, no representative from Trafalgar Property Management bothered to attend to accept a memorandum. After prolonged negotiations, the SAPS superintendent accepted it on their behalf.

As Trafalgar was unwilling to send a representative to accept a memorandum, the N2 Gateway joint committee representing residents of the Joe Slovo Phase 1 flats, the Joe Slovo informal settlement and the Symphony Way settlement in Delft will be meeting to plan further action that will insure that Trafalgar addresses the needs of the poor.


24 July 2008


To Thubelisha Homes:

You were given the responsibility for building housing as the principle agent and developer of the national N2 Gateway Housing Project. This was a special responsibility and you could not deliver.

First, your forcibly removed people to Temporary Relocation Areas with the false promise of housing. Then, you were responsible for the building of flats of substandard quality for poor people who need homes. Then, you carried out a mass eviction of people who were on the waiting list for housing for more than twenty years; six months later they are still on the pavement in the dead of winter opposite your empty houses. Now you want to evict more people from shacks to build more shoddy housing.

Is it any surprise that you ran out of money, not trying to deliver adequate, decent, affordable housing, but because of lawyer’s fees for eviction court cases? This is like a curse that you have put on yourself for not thinking of the poor.

This is not the first time that you have attempted to exploit the poor people of this country. For years, you have gone unchallenged and now you have met your match, it is too late for you.

And now:

- because you could not manage this N2 Gateway Housing Project;
- because you participate in the outsourcing and privatisation of housing delivery;
- because you operate like an apartheid agent;
- because you are cowards;
- because of your gross violation of human rights through mass evictions;
- because of your bureaucracy and corruption;
- because of your combination of extravagant spending with poor workmanship and lack of

You are now dead. We do not expect any letters or summons from ghosts. The truth will now arise. Fair well and good riddance.



24 July 2008


To Trafalgar Property Management:

You are an international company that manages properties for rich people. Yet, for the past year, you have been attempting to manage the flats in Joe Slovo Phase 1, shelter for poor people that you treat as if they were homes in rich suburbs.

We do not know you. We never met you. We do not have any agreement with you. Yet, for the past three months, you have been sending the residents of Joe Slovo Phase 1 threatening lawyer’s letters because they refuse to pay your extravagant rent.

The agreement you have is with Thubelisha Homes, not with the residents of Joe Slovo Phase 1. We never signed any contract with you. We don’t need any more letters from you as they create heartache and pain for pensioners and single parents. Keep your papers and ink.

In future, avoid abusing poor people on behalf of the state. Do not participate in the privatization and outsourcing of housing management. We are sick and tired of government agents.

Now that you are buried, we can rest easy knowing that you can no loner exploit the poor people on the N2 Gateway Housing Project..



24 July 2008


To Richard Dyantyi, MEC for Local Government and Housing:

You are responsible for seeing to the needs of over half a million pensioners, single parents, farm workers and other poor people who desperately need proper housing, especially now that it is winter. This is your job.

But your current annual budget allows for only 12,000 homes to be built, when in fact the need increases by 22,000 units each year. If you continue business as usual, the number of homeless in the Western Cape will increase, instead of decrease, by another half of million. When you think of your children, think of all our poor children living in shacks, in backyards, and homeless, especially now in the wintertime. Is this the future you wish for our country?

You need to declare the housing backlog a State of Emergency. Start by scrapping the laws that allow for the eviction of poor people until we all have homes, security, and comfort.

Your department must take direct responsibility for housing, housing delivery, and housing management. But you continue to outsource and privatise housing and housing delivery, as if it is a solution, rather than acknowledge that this is part of the problem. Evict Traflagar and Thubelisha Homes, not the poor people. To us, Trafalgar and Thubelisha Homes are now dead and buried.

You have been given one more chance to deliver on the needs of the poor. To educate and inform you about real public participation and the needs of our communities, see the ballot box that we have left you. Take this as your mandate for delivery. Also, take it as a reminder that we will not vote until we have land and housing. No land, no house, no vote.

Yours sincerely,

On Behalf of the poor communities of the Western Cape

Press Reminder: N2 Gateway Communities march Thursday morning

23 07 2008
Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Wednesday, 23 July, 2008

Event: March for community control over the housing process
Time: 10am
Date: Thursday July 24th, 2008
Location: Assemble in Keizergragt Street (march to Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing)
Transport: Free Metrorail trains for march from 9am-3pm

Cape Town — All three communities affected by the N2 Gateway fiasco - the pet national housing project of Lindiwe Sisulu - will be marching tomorrow morning to claim that they are not stupid, that they can think, that they must be at the centre and in control of any housing policy that effects them.  Communities are tired of the government’s authoritarian way of governing.  This is not a protest about lack of service delivery, but a protest about the undemocratic structure of government.

Communities are calling on government to end the privatisation of services to private companies like Thubelisha Homes and Trafalgar Properties.  Communities are marching to Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing to claim service delivery as their own and to mandate government to carry out the wishes of the people in the manner the people decide.

  1. Housing is not an excuse to evict shackdwellers.
  2. Sustainability is not an excuse to raise rents on shoddily constructed flats.
  3. Order is not an excuse to violently evict families who have nowhere else to go.

We are marching to claim our right to dignity! We are marching to claim our right to humanity! We will assert our right to express ourselves despite government’s attempts to silence us and prevent us from being heard!

Phansi Forced Removal! Phansi High Rent! Phansi Privatisation!

For more information:

Ashraf Cassiem
Mncedisi Twalo
Gary Hartzenberg

Press Release: City officials Restrict March by N2 Gateway Communities

22 07 2008
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
July 22, 2008

On Thursday, 24 July 2008, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign will be leading a march to the Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing to protest the continued privatization of housing construction. Beginning at 10 am at Keizergragt Street, marchers will arrive outside the Provincial offices of MEC Richard Dyantyi to deliver a memorandum to the MEC as well as Prince Xanthi Sigcawu of Thubelisha Homes and Lloyd Nussey of Trafalgar.

Jointly planned by the various communities impacted by the N2 Gateway Project, this march bring together the residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement, the occupants of the Joe Slovo Phase 1 flats, and the families of the Symphony Way informal settlement in Delft, along with other communities from across the Western Cape region. While each of these communities has struggled individually, this march will be their first collective action directed at the lack of genuine public participation that has been the hallmark of the N2 Gateway Project.

Over the past several months, these three communities have faced increasing intimidation from municipal and provincial officials as well as the companies to whom housing construction and management has been outsourced. Even though the residents of the Joe Slovo settlement will be challenging their forced removal to Delft before the SA Constitutional Court on 21 August, MEC Dyantyi has already applied for the rezoning of the land they now occupy – as if this community has already lost its legal appeal.

In Joe Slovo Phase 1 flats, those on a rent boycott to call attention to shoddy construction and escalating rent have begun receiving threatening letters from Trafalgar’s lawyer. And in a meeting in Osterberg last week (17/7/08), City of Cape Town Informal Settlements Manager Gregory Exford threatened representatives from the Symphony Way community with an eviction order from the Department of Roads and Transportation if they did not move from off the pavement to a Temporary Relocation Area so as to allow for the reopening of Symphony Way.

City officials also threatened to arrest the three members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign convening the march if they refused to comply with a predetermined march route. In a meeting at the Cape Town Civic Centre held on Monday, 21 July 2008, Officer Mangale from the Traffic Police refused to permit a march that included Thubelisha Homes on Lower Berg Street and Trafalgar on Bree Street along the route, citing the inconvenience to motorists, the possibility of injuries and potential damage to property. “We will make the decision whether to grant this march or not,” argued Mangale.

When the AEC members resolved to march whether or not they had a permit from the city, Officer De Graaf from the Public Order Police threatened to arrest them for not complying with the city’s requirements. After three hours of negotiations, the march conveners and city officials agreed on a route that would only bring marchers to the MEC’s office.

The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign condemns the efforts by officers Mangale and De Graaf to limit their democratic right of assembly and freedom of expression. “The city workers are public servants. They must let the poor express themselves,” said AEC member Gary Hartzenberg.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign also condemns the ongoing efforts of city and provincial officials to push through their plans over the objections of poor people. Public participation must exist in practice, not just on paper!

The campaign also invites all struggling communities to join with the residents of Joe Slovo, Joe Slovo Phase 1, and Symphony Way on Thursday in calling for a transparent and accountable process to solve South Africa’s housing crisis.

Phansi Forced Removal! Phansi High Rent! Phansi Privatisation!

For more information:

Ashraf Cassiem
Mncedisi Twalo
Gary Hartzenberg

Press Release: AEC General Meeting Supports N2 Gateway Communities March

21 07 2008

Event: March for community control over the housing process
Time: 10am
Date: Thursday July 24th, 2008
Location: Assemble in

On the afternoon of Sunday, 20 July more than a dozen local community leaders came together from across the Western Cape for the first Anti-Eviction Campaign General Meeting in more than sixth months. Held at the BSL Ex-Servicemen’s Club in Silvertown, the meeting drew more than sixty delegates from informal settlements as well as public and privately owned housing. Although facing a range of different issues, from the privatization of water to a rash of night-time evictions, delegates resolved to strategise a collective way forward during the months leading up to the April 2009 elections and 2010 World Cup.

From Gugulethu to QQ section, Hout Bay to Hanover Park, delegates expressed their solidarity with the various communities impacted by the N2 Gateway Project who will be marching in Cape Town on the morning of 24 July. This includes the current residents of some 700 N2 Gateway rental flats (otherwise known as Joe Slovo Phase 1 who have been on a rent boycott since mid-2007) the thousands of families of the Joe Slovo informal settlement resisting forced removal to Temporary Relocation Areas in Delft, and the more than 200 families of the Symphony Way settlement living opposite the homes they were evicted from in Delft.

Jointly called by the residents of all three communities, Thursday’s march in the Cape Town CBD will draw attention to the problems caused by the privatization of housing construction through Thubelisha Homes and housing management by Trafalgar Properties. Marchers intend to call upon the Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing to directly see to the region’s grave housing needs. Drawing on the common concerns regarding privatization, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign chairperson Ashraf Cassiem warned that, “The responsibility for housing, something that is usually provided for by the state, has been given to these private companies. They have a bottom line. They don’t care if you don’t have bread to feed your family.”

Delegates also found common cause with each other’s struggles, as they spoke to recent victories and pressing local issues. In particular, those in attendance called attention to the failure to upgrade of informal settlement, the needs of backyard dwellers, and “pink letters” threatening evictions and service disconnections. At one point, the delegates from the Wes Bank community in Delft spoke movingly and sometimes in tears about the problem of night-time evictions from RDP housing in Delft. Several delegates also spoke to the problem of police and councilor corruption in their areas.

In addition to a general discussion forum, Sunday’s meeting also provided and opportunity for communities facing similar problems to learn from each other. Hawkers in Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre took time to speak to those representing informal trades in Gatesville and Gugulethu. Similarly, the general meeting also brought together several delegates from the nine Cape Town Community Housing Company projects.

At the end of the meeting, delegates resolved to take the discussion back to their communities and meet again in two weeks.

For more information, please contact:

Pamela Buekes
Ashraf Cassiem
Gary Hartzenberg

Khayelitsha Anti-Eviction Campaign

10 03 2004

Khayelitsha Anti-Eviction Campaign

Press Alert

Tuesday 10th May 2004, 9am

The community of Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha, heard rumours late last night that there will be evictions in Ilitha Park today of at least five houses in Ntugyana Street.

The community also heard that there will be more evictions on Thursday.

The community is waiting for the sheriffs to arrive and then they will begin to peacefully resist the evictions.

A week ago, the Senior Public Prosecutor in the Khayelitsha Magistrates Court told academics that 6000 (six thousand) evictions are planned for the Khayelitsha area in the next month.

Yesterday, the Unicity refused permission for the Anti-Eviction Campaign to march tomorrow from Kaisergracht to Parliament to ask for a meeting with new Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.


  • For more information about the evictions today contact Nomute on (whose house is on the list for eviction - number 17 Ntugyana Street).
  • For more information about the mass march call .