Are fires, a result of the state’s refusal to electrify and to provide anti-fire measures such as hydrants, now being misused to ‘eliminate’ shacks? Certainly this is how the Municipality in ‘Maritzburg sought to misuse the recent floods in the Ash Road settlement. Is Mabuyakulu trying to misuse this fire to turn Jadhu Place into one of his ‘transit camps’ and thereby weaken the community’s hold on the land by rendering the occupation of a long established community much more precarious, unviable and ‘temporary’?
Below are today’s articles from The Mercury and Isolezwe. The story is also on the front page of today’s Daily Sun and has been well covered by E-TV. The demand emerging from discussions within Abahlali is clear: “Resist all attempts to exploit disasters to evict! No transit camps! Rebuild the settlement with electricity!”
Mabuyakhulu visits the homeless
April 22, 2008 Edition 2
Temporary housing has been promised to people who lost their homes in a fire at an informal settlement in Springfield Park.
Housing, local government and traditional affairs MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu visited the settlement in Jadhu Place yesterday, along with eThekwini mayor Obed Mlaba, ward councillors and government officials, to assess the damage.
About 300 shacks were gutted when a fire broke out in the area on Sunday.
“We came here to see for ourselves the damage that was caused by the fire and it is very depressing. But we have provided the first line of assistance to this community by getting tents, blankets and food to them.
We are asking the homeless not to start rebuilding shacks because we are going to provide temporary housing for the homeless,” said Mabuyakhulu.
He told people at the settlement that his department was hoping to accelerate its slum eradication programme.
“We are hoping that by 2014 we would have eradicated the 604 informal settlements in KwaZulu-Natal and everyone will have proper housing,” he said.
Angela Blose, 48, who lost all her possessions in the fire, said she was pleased that the MEC had visited the area.
“I am happy that they came here and have seen how bad the situation is. But I am worried because they are registering people who will get the temporary houses, but my home did not have a number, so they do not want to register me,” she said.
The chairman of the settlement, Dumisani Mkhize, said the residents desperately needed houses.
“This is the fourth time that a fire has destroyed homes. We need proper homes.”
Mkhize said residents suspected that the fire was started by a candle that fell over.
Mabuyakhulu was also expected to visit Dannhauser, near Newcastle, where houses were damaged in floods yesterday.
However, the visit was postponed for later this week because of yesterday’s inclement weather, said housing department spokesman Lennox Mabaso.
“Since he was delayed at Springfield Park, he would have had to use a helicopter to get to Dannhauser on time. But the authorities said the weather was not good for flying. However, he will visit the area by the end of this week,” Mabaso said.
Kusolwa ikhandlela lomlindelo ngomlilo
April 22, 2008 Edition 1
IKHANDLELA lomlindelo ebelikhayiswe ngomunye wabantu abahlala emjondolo eJadhu Place, eSpringfield, eThekwini, yilo elingqongqise imijondolo engaphezulu kuka-500 kule ndawo ngeSonto.
Lokhu kuvezwe nguMnuz Dumisani Mkhize onguSihlalo wekomidi labantu abahlala kule ndawo izolo.
“Abebezilile bazunywe wubuthongo kanti bashiye ikhandlela livutha, lase liwa lathungela umlilo nakwezinye izindlu.
UMkhize uthe bathole ngomakhelwane emuva kokuqubuka komlilo ukuthi empeleni udalwe yikhandlela emzini obekunomlindelo kuwo kulandela ukushona kwesihlobo sabo.
Imizamo yeSolezwe yokuthola abomndeni okuthiwa umlilo uqale kuwo ayiphumelelanga.
Izolo izingane zesikole ezihlala kule ndawo ziphoqeleke ukuthi zihlale emakhaya, zingayi ezikoleni ngoba bekushe nomfaniswano wesikole ngesikhathi kusha imijondolo.
Yize amakhaza ebeshubisa umnkantsha nemvula ina ngamandla izolo, izakhamizi bezimatasatasa zizama ukuvuselela imijondolo yazo ngemuva kokuthi abantu abangaphezu kuka-1 500 besale dengwane.
UMkhize uthe abantu bashelwe yikho konke ebekusezindlini, kubalwa ukudla, izingubo zokugqoka nokunye.
USihle Dlamini (15), ofunda uGrade 10 eCentenary High, uthe akazi ukuthi uyoze aye nini esikoleni njengoba kushe yonke impahla yakhe.
Ngesikhathi uNgqongqoshe wezeZindlu, ezoMdabu noHulumeni baseKhaya KwaZulu-Natal, uMnuz Mike Mabuyakhulu, ehambele le ndawo izolo eyobheka umonakalo, kuke kwanenhlansi yethemba ezakhamizini lapho zitshelwa ukuthi zizokwakhelwa izindlu zesikhashana ukuze zifihle amakhanda.
“Sizonikezela ngosizo lwesikhashana kubo bonke abakhahlamezekile, kodwa kuzomele sisebenzisane nezakhamizi ekwenzeni isiqiniseko sokuthi isibalo seminjodolo asinyuki njengoba sinohlelo lokuthi kuthi kufika u-2014 sibe sesiyiqede yonke,” kusho uMabuyakhulu.
Njengamanje izakhamizi zisaqube ematendeni agxunyekwe kule ndawo ngemuva kwesehlakalo.
UNgqongqoshe wezokuThuthukiswa koMphakathi KwaZulu-Natal, uDkt Meshack Radebe, kulindeleke ukuthi namhlanje ahambele kule ndawo ngenhloso yokubona ukuthi angasiza ngani.