Poor residents again face eviction from poorly built houses

17 07 2008
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
Thursday, 17th July, 2008

Hanover Park - In 1994, then president Nelson Mandela promised to build one-million homes. In 2000 the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC), a private company, was entrusted to help make this promise of Mandela a reality by becoming a housing delivery vehicle for the government. In the process, they build 2,193 houses on a ‘rent to buy’ basis in 9 communities across the Western Cape.

In order to make the houses affordable to the poor, families were requested to save between R150 - R350 per month over a period of six months before moving into their new homes. They claimed that this amount would be equal to their monthly rental.

In the year 2000, when people first moved in to their new houses, the rental quadrupled to an averaged of R800 per month. Because the houses were poorly built with latent as well as patent defects (the walls had already begun cracking), thousands of residents collectively decided to go on a rent boycott to show their dissatisfaction. Immediately, the most vulnerable households (single parent households, pensioners, and disabled poor residents) were subjected to evictions from these houses. Yet, after the mobilisation of the community, residents were able to protect one another from eviction.

Then, in 2007, the NHDRC (together with the Department of Local Government and Housing, the City of Cape Town, and the CTCHC), as a result of the pressure from residents, finally embarked on a remedial programme in order to fix the houses. They promised that afterwards they would engage with the poor residents to find a fair payment solution for that would be affordable for each household.

However, during the course of the remedial programme, we have established that the NHBRC Forensic Audit and Assessment is flawed and full of shortcuts. Because the NHDRC cut corners in order to reduce costs of repairs, the houses are now, after the recent floods, in far worse condition than before. The Anti-Eviction Campaign also recently established that the CTCHC are illegally selling their state-subsidised houses to property agents at an enormous profit. The same house that was supposed to be sold for 44,000 Rand a few years ago are now being sold privately for between 350,000-400,000 Rand against the guidelines of the national housing code. As the CTCHC knows, proper procedure is to sell each house back to the government to be redistributed to poor residents.

And on top of all this, residents in the nine housing sites which CTCHC manages, are once again faced with the threat of evictions from homes that are still falling apart. But Anti-Eviction Campaign residents throughout these areas will continue to struggle until their dream of having a stable and secure home becomes a reality.

For comment, please contact:

Gary - (Newfields Village)
Pathrick - (Luyoloville)
Robert - (Eastridge)

Anti-Eviction Campaign Youth Day in Newfields Village, Cape Town

15 06 2008
Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign
Saturday 14th June 2008 at 7pm

CAPE TOWN - The Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign is supporting a community youth day which starts tomorrow and continues on Monday.

Tomorrow an under 13 soccer tournament will take place and this will henceforth be an annual event known as the Zubair memorial, in memory of the 11 year old boy who was murdered and found on the school grounds recently. The late Zubair was part of the under 13 team and the Anti-Eviction Campaign feels it fitting that he should be commemorated.

The tournament starts at 10am at Parkfields Primary, Newfields Village.

In this community, the Anti-Eviction Campaign is also involved in anti-drug work with the community. On Monday there will be an anti-eviction team playing in the over 35’s tournament. Monday’s event will feature 11 soccer teams.

For comment call Gary Hartzenberg on

Solidarity: Residents patch up houses as winter looms

10 04 2008

Solidarity from AEC:  The Anti-Eviction Campaign works with a number of communities (such as Newfields in Hanover Park) dealing with the corruption and mismanagement of the Cape Town Community Housing Company.  We post this in solidarity with all residents of council homes in Cape Town.

April 09 2008 at 07:40AM
Source: IOL

With repairs to their homes delayed by several months, some residents of the more than 2 400 faulty houses built by the Cape Town Community Housing Company have expressed their distress at the delay.

On Monday, company executive Fungai Mudimu told the city’s housing portfolio committee that the provincial housing department had agreed to pay the extra costs of repairs to houses in Manenberg, Philippi, Mitchells Plain and Gugulethu.

The costs had shot up from the initial R35-million to more than R90-million.  Sindiswa Mponze, who lives in Luyoloville, said many of her neighbours had refused to pay their rents of between R400 and R800 because of the shoddy construction.

‘There has not been a single winter where rain has not seeped through the roof or the walls’
“I moved into my house in 2001 and there has not been a single winter where rain has not seeped through the roof or the walls.

“How can they demand rent from me when we have to deal with this every winter?” Mponze said as she pointed out several cracks in her living room.

Some residents of Luyoloville, tired of waiting for teams to fix their homes, have attempted repairs with varying degrees of success, most of them by filling cracks with plaster and painting over damp walls.  Rizaan Young, whose Heideveld home was being repaired by an independent contractor, said her first winter in the house seven years ago had shown up the shoddiness of the construction.

“Before the repairs, there were two holes in the living room floor and my windows could not be shut properly as they had become rusted.”

Young said she was happy with the improvements to her house, which had included installing an insulated ceiling and waterproofing the inside and outer walls.  A foreman on the site said repairs included “lifting up” floors that were sagging and cracking.  Sagging ceilings were also being repaired. Waterjets were being used to strip off old paint before applying waterproof paint to walls.

“The main problem that tenants experienced was water penetration, especially during the winter,” said the foreman.

Press Alert: Poor community threatens to sue Eskom after appliances blow from power surges and cuts

18 03 2008
Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign
18 March 2008
CAPE TOWN - The poor and working class community of Newfields Village, near Hanover Park, has experienced most of their appliances like kettles, toasters and TV’s blowing last night. The community believes that Eskom is to blame. Yesterday there was a power cut in the area for 8 hours. Wealthier areas in Cape Town did not experience power cuts. Soon after, the power suddenly came back on and then all the appliances blew out.
For more information call Gary Hartzenberg on

Newfields Village residents angered at Cape Town Community Housing broken promises

18 01 2008

CAPE TOWN - The Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign is planning more protest action against the Cape Town Community Housing Company.

The residents from Newfields Village and nine other villages of “low cost housing” built by the Cape Town Community Housing Company already campaigned for years to force the government to allocate R46 million to repair the defects in their houses. These included crumbling walls, leaks, cracks and others. Their campaign included a massive and long running rent boycott.

The Cape Town Community Housing Company agreed in writing with the community that the workers employed to fix the defects would be 50% contract workers and 50% workers hired from the community. However, they have reneged on their own written agreement and only 6% of the workers are to be hired from the community. The Cape Town Community Housing Company says that these will be labourers only - artisans will be hired from companies.

The Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign has uncovered that the person in charge of the repair process has a 40% share in ABE, a company that has been suddenly hired to repaint all the defective houses.

The Newfields Village Anti-Eviction Campaign is very angry about this and demands an end to this corruption, and jobs for the community, failing which they have vowed to chase all contractors out of the area.


For comment call Gary Hartzenberg on

Anti-Eviction Campaign March by Newfields Village

20 08 2007
Press Release – Monday 20th August, 2007 – 10am

9 Cape Town communities to march over City’s Housing Company’s broken promises

The march takes place tomorrow - Tuesday 21st August 2007 at 11am. From Kaisersgracht to the Civic Centre in Cape Town.

For further information please call Gary Hartzenberg ph


In the year 2000, the City of Cape Town as the senior partner, together with the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC) and funded by the National Housing Finance Corporation, built 2188 houses in nine communities all over the Metropole in areas such as Newfields Village, Hanover Park, Luyoloville, Philippi, Heideveld, Woodridge, Eastridge and Manenberg.

Upon occupation of their new homes, benficiaries discovered that they had moved into houses with major latent as well as patent defects like cracked walls, poor plumbing and constant foundational movement as houses had been built on Wetlands with no approval of plans and duplication of erf numbers, etc. The affected communities decided, after several attempts by them to get the authorities to rectify the situation, to go on mass protest action in order to address the problem at hand.

Current state of affairs

Late last year National Government mandated the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) to conduct a forensic audit of all houses built by the CTCHC, and accordingly R36 million was made available for the remedial work to be done on all the houses built. On the audit findings on the houses in question, beneficiaries found that the NHBRC had made a total mess of their task. People staying in maisonettes received an audit of people staying in a free-standing single story house; several had their defects under-stated, etc. These problems were brought to the attention to the provincial minister of housing and local government as well as the city and other stakeholders, all to no avail as up until today there was no response. Instead beneficiaries were given threatening letters over removal of ‘illegal’ structures, over boundaries and fences as well as letters of a so-called ‘payment solution’ without consultation between the City, the department of housing and the affected communities. Although a meeting has been scheduled for 16th Sept 2007 between the residents of Newfield’s Village and Minister Dyantyi to discuss the proposed payment options, the CTCHC has already sent letters to individual beneficiaries and giving them an ultimatum to respond on their 5 options. If residents do not respond in time or want a different solution, the CTCHC threaten to impose an instalment. The CTCHC knows full well that residents were given 5 minutes to peruse 30 documents and sign them before receiving their house keys. The CTCHC knows full well that residents were unfairly compelled to sign documents that the CTCHC wants to now rely on. THE CTCHC is behaving like the capitalist banks. They know full well that all that was promised in 2000 have not been delivered, such as rent being charged of R800 rather than the promised R150, R250 and R350 (the levels of the savings contributed beforehand).

The government’s claim of having built over 1 million houses since 1994 comes into sharp focus here. Are the units that were built really fit for human habitation? In the same breath, with the slow pace of delivery, will the homeless ever receive adequate housing under the current system?

All beneficiaries and their supporters will be marching to the Civic Centre in Cape Town on Tuesday 21st August 2007 to highlight their demands. A memorandum will be handed over to Councillor Ian Nielsen demanding the scrapping of all arrears and other relevant issues. The march will start at Keizergracht at 11am. The memorandum is scheduled to be handed over by 12 noon at the Civic centre.


Press Alert (from ashraf casseim )


There will be an action in the City of Cape Town on the 21 August 2008.This initiative was started by Eastridge Anti-Eviction Campaign also known as the Town Centre Village.

Where all residents of the Cape Town Community Housing Company (C.T.C.H.C) Village residents will be marching to the City of Cape Town to demand that all their arrears be scrapped. The list of grievances are endless and strated as early as 1999.

The march will start from Keizergracht down Darling street right into Adderly street until the city of Cape Town Civic Centre.

This action will point out that the delivery of Adequate Public Social Housing by a Private Companies does and and will not deliver social housing

for further information please contact contact:
Town Centre, Robert ,
Newfields Village, Gary,
Heideveld, Lungi,
Hanover Park, Alma,
Morgen’s Village, Ayesha,
Stock Road, Lawrence,
Woodridge, Cinthia,
Luyoloville, Patrick,

Thank you and please feel free to inform all press.