Only five families out of an estimated 20000 shack dwellers from one of South Africa’s poorest settlements have been accommodated at the state’s flagship housing development built on their doorstep.
Meant to showcase the country’s progressive housing policy promoting racially integrated cities, phase one of the N2 Gateway project next to the Joe Slovo shack settlement in Cape Town is instead a monument to a losing battle against the national housing backlog.
More than 1000 families from Joe Slovo have been relocated to make way for the housing project, which to date consists of only 704 state rental apartments costing R600 to R1050 a month and about 3500 free houses 10km away in Delft on the outskirts of the city. This despite the government’s promise of 20000 free state Gateway houses by 2006.
The relocated shack dwellers now live in the new Delft houses or in under-serviced “temporary relocation areas”.
The remaining shack dwellers — about 3000 families — are challenging a High Court ruling ordering them to move to Delft so more free houses can be built where their shacks stand.
Construction of “bond market” houses has already begun for people earning between R3500 to R10000 a month next to Joe Slovo settlement.
Shack dwellers say they are being forced off their land without any guarantee of getting a new house. Read the rest of this entry »