Most of the Jadhu Place settlement burnt down early on Sunday morning after a candle was knocked over. Jadhu was one of the first settlements to join Abahlali baseMjondolo back in 2005. At least 1 500 people have been left homeless by this fire. The City has provided large tents for people left homeless and instructed them not to rebuild their shacks. They are misusing this disaster to turn a long established shack settlement, a community with a proud history, into a transit camp.
Update: 22 April Mabuyakulu confirms ‘no rebuilding’ instruction.
People wouldn’t mind having to live in the tents for a while if houses were being built in Jadhu Place. But there is no plan for them to transit out of this tent camp to decent housing in Jadhu Place or on other good land in the city. It looks like the transit camp should be called Lindela. It is clear that the City’s aim is to eliminate shacks and not to house the people and that they will continue to use every excuse to eliminate shacks, often destroying them illegally, even when this leaves people in a much worse condition than before. It is a war on the poor. We will continue to defend our right to the city in the courts and in the streets.
As Abahlali has said again and again these fires are a direct result of the refusal of the Municipality to supply electricity to shack settlements. This forces people to rely on dangerous sources of light and heat – candles and paraffin stoves. More and more people are starting to understand that shack fires are no accident, that they are political, that they are a direct result of the Municipality’s refusal to continue electrifying shack settlements after 2001.
Everybody knows how this fire started. It started when a candle was knocked over. Many people were eyewitnesses to this including a large group of people awake for an all night funeral vigil. For the Municipality to lie and to blame self organised electricity connections for the fire is just an attempt to blame the people for trying to survive in a city at war with its poor. It is no better than when there was the cholera and they put ‘Geza Izandla!’ on the buses. People were getting cholera because they didn’t have safe water not because they didn’t know that they must wash their hands!
Contact Mazizi Dlamini at 083 7439 033 or Nceku Dladla on 0739760840.
Shack dwellers left out in cold
April 21, 2008 Edition 1
SEVERAL families from the Dadoo informal settlement in Overport braved cold wind and rain yesterday after their shacks were destroyed by fire.
Mazizi Dlamini, area chairman of the shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, said that about 1 500 people were left homeless after the fire early yesterday.
“The fire happened at about 3.30am. People were left with nothing . . . Luckily, we managed to get two tents, provided by the eThekwini Municipality, to house the people (last night),” he said.
Ethekwini Metro fire department station commander Ntuthuko Mathe said: “About 300 shacks were burnt down. No one was injured in the fire. We suspect that the fire could have been started after people tried to illegally connect electricity in the area.”
To assist the victims, telephone Mazizi Dlamini at 083 7439 033.
Basale nabebekugqokile kusha imijondolo
April 21, 2008 Edition 1
BASALE bengenamakhaya, benethwa nayimvula abantu abangaphezu kuka-1 000 ngemuva kokuba imijondolo eyevile ku-500 abebehlala kuyo eJadhu Place, eSpringfield, eThekwini, icekelwe phansi ngumlilo izolo ekuseni.
Abantu balapha bavuswe ngubumayemaye ngesikhathi umlilo usha ubuhanguhangu.
Nakuba kusafuniselwa ngembangela yomlilo kodwa ziqinile izinsolo zokuthi ukuxhunywa kwezintambo zikagesi okungekho emthethweni kungase kube yikho okubange le ngozi.
UMnuz Mboneni Ntuli (62), obehlala kule mijondolo, uthe akuqali ukuthi kuqubuke umlilo kule mijondolo.
Uthe usenkingeni yokuthi akazi ukuthi umndeni wakhe uzoshonaphi nawo ngoba umjondolo wakhe oshile ubufana nekhaya.
“Thina sisinde ngokuthi sizwe omakhelwane bememeza bethi kukhona okushayo sase siphuma endlini. Zonke izimpahla zethu zishe zangqongqa. Uhulumeni thina akasithandi njengoba engasakheli imixhaso, nakuba sike sabhiksha sifuna imxhaso,” kusho uNtuli.
Ngesikhathi Isolezwe lifika kule ndawo izolo abantu bebekhungathekile nabezicishamlilo bematasa bezama ukucisha.
UNksz Makhosazane Ndlovu (33), osehlale kule ndawo kusukela ngo-1990 nezingane zakhe ezintathu nowakwakhe, uthe sekungokwesihlanu kusha kule mijondolo selokhu aqala ukuhlala kuyo.
Okhulumela abezichishamlilo, uStan Verveld, uthe bekungakabikwa zigameko zabashonile kodwa basaqhubeka nokuhlola isimo.
USne Chiliza (18) uthe akazi ukuthi uzoya ngani esikoleni njengoba inyumfomu yakhe ishile.
Ikhansela laseJadhu Place, uMnuz Jacob Baig, uthe abantu abalahlekelwe amakhaya abo babalelwa ku-1 000 kanti bazolungiselwa amatende lapho bezolala khona.
“Akusona isehlakalo sokuqala sokusha kule ndawo, ngicabanga ukuthi sekushe kane noma kahlanu eminyakeni emihlanu edlule,” kusho uBaig.
Uqhube wathi izolo kwenziwe izinhlelo zokubalalisa ematendeni ngesikhathi besazanyelwa indawo.