Guguelthu AEC Press Statement
1st December, 2008 – For Immediate Release
Today, the Gugulethu AEC, with the support of church goers, students and other local businesses, will close down construction of the Gugulethu Mall at 11h30am.
Eyona tenants who have already been evicted and who still face the threat of eviction, are now joining in solidarity with poor residents of the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign. Both are now opposing the corruption, lack of consultation, and anti-local orientation of the new Gugulethu mall.
The development of the Gugueltu Square Mall will destroy local businesses, sideline informal traders, and undermine resident’s ability to drive the development process. As much as big businesses would like it to have a human face, this near billion rand project will not benefit more than a couple residents from Gugulethu.
Facts about Eyona tenants threatened with eviction:
SS Skhoma Butchery and Shirley Sigasana Takeway built their own structures and have traded in these structures at the old Eyona Shopping Centre for more than 25 years.
Eyona Tenants’ first landlord was Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) under the old Apartheid government. After 1994, the new government (on behalf of the people) became the owner. The government itself along with government organisations such as the DTI and Khula made promises of ownership towards Eyona tenants.
Eventually, without the community’s consent or consultation, government sold the land for R11.70 to Khula which then proceeded to directly engage big-business and ignore pass promises and obligations towards the community.
With regards to the development of the Gugulethu mall, the DTI and Khula have manipulated and undermined the Eyona Tenants. All their promises have been made without written documentation. Along with the developers, they refuse to sign any type of lease agreements to ensure that their promises of space to trade become a reality.
While the Eyona Tenants (in conjunction with the residents of Gugulethu) should own the land on which the mall is being built, they have received no compensation from government for the selling of their land towards helping establish big-business in Gugs.
Instead, our democratically elected government is actively helping Khula, Wst Side Trading, Old Mutual and Group 5 in their unfair and deceitful evictions of the Gugulethu Eyona Tenants.
By 30 November 2008, the remaining structure of the old shopping centre (the Butchery, Take-away and the Garage) are supposed to be vacated and then demolished. But without a court order, any attempted eviction will be illegal.
Today, 1st December 2008 at 11h30, the Gugulethu community (including members of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, students, church goes and other local businesses) will show their support for the Eyona Tenants by stopping construction on the mall and protecting the remaining structures from being demolished.
The Struggle Continues!
For comment, please call Mncedisi at 078-5808-646 and Speelman at 073-9825-725.
For more, please visit the website of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign at: http://www.antieviction.org.za