14 July 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement
Evictions at gun point continue at the Kennedy Road settlement
We have faced many evictions in the city of Durban since our movement was formed in 2005. Almost all these evictions have been violent, unlawful and criminal.
We have stopped almost all these evictions through organised resistance, mass protest and action in the courts. When the state has attempted to change the law to make it easier for them to evict us we have defeated them in court. In 2009 we won against the “Slums Act” at the Constitutional Court. Last year we also won against the “blanket order” sought by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Human Settlements. The “blanket order” was intended to authorise mass evictions and to prevent the occupation of at least 1 568 properties in KwaZulu-Natal. Continue reading →
12 July 2016
Wits and University of Michigan Workshop on the Politics of Municipal Infrastructure held at the Durban University of Technology
The Political and Economic Challenges Facing the Provision of Municipal Infrastructure in Durban
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the organisers of this workshop for recognising the struggle of Abahlali baseMjondolo. Today I wish to extend my gratitude to Wits and to Michigan for inviting me to share Abahlali‘s experience in our dignified struggle which includes struggle for land, housing, water, sewerage, electricity and transport. Continue reading →
This chapter provides an account of some of the contestation around a landoccupation in Cato Manor, Durban. It shows that none of the actors aspiring toexercise control – party structures, the local state, the courts, NGOs and popularorganisations – were, in the period under study, able to exercise full control over thepeople or territory in question. It also shows that actually existing forms of contestationfrequently operated outside the limits established by liberal democratic arrangements
This article examines the informal housing practices that the urban poor use to construct, transform, and access citizenship in contemporary South Africa. Following the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, the provision of formalized housing for the urban poor has become a key metric for ‘non-racial’ political inclusion and the desegregation of apartheid cities. Yet, shack settlements—commemorated in liberation histories as apartheid-era battlegrounds—have been reclassified as ‘slums’, zones that are earmarked for clearance or development. Evictions from shack settlements to government emergency camps have been justified under the liberal logic of expanding housing rights tied to citizenship. I argue that the informal housing practices make visible the methods of managing ‘slum’ populations, as well as an emerging living politics in South African cities.
In the years preceding the Fifa 2010 World Cup, Durban residents living in informal settlements adjacent to road projects and sporting facilities were removed with the promise of better accommodation.
Fast forward to 2015, and the same thing is going to happen again. With the Commonwealth Games scheduled for 2022, members of shack-dwellers’ movement Abahlali base-Mjondolo, originating in Durban, are saying that the decision to make parts of the Cornubia development a Commonwealth Games village happened without consulting the people expecting that housing. Continue reading →