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 →
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.
Published in The Mercury as ‘The Dynamics of Informal Housing’ on 12 December 2015.
The Transit Camp is a Form of Social Control
Development is often held up as the answer to some of our most pressing social problems. Corruption is often seen as a key threat to attaining the efficient ‘delivery’ of developmental gains. But development and corruption are often – although of course not always – phenomena best understood as strategies for securing political containment. Continue reading →
Durban – Large families crammed into a controversial temporary housing project in Durban have reacted with disbelief that their tiny 2m x 2m shacks cost R35 000 each, describing living conditions there as “inhumane”.
Speaking to The Mercury at the weekend, several residents at the Kennedy Road informal settlement said the price tag on their homes was “a lie” and an insult.
The city built the transit camp last year after hundreds of shacks were gutted in a fire that left thousands homeless. Continue reading →
Durban – A damning forensic investigation has found that city officials fraudulently colluded with bidders who eventually spent about R35 000 per shoddy 2m x 2m room in a 700-unit temporary housing project.
The price of the unit is roughly R10 000 less than what it would have cost the city to build a fully fledged low-cost house. It would have cost the city about R7 000 to buy a similar-sized wendy house and from R4 000 to R6 000 to buy a corrugated iron zozo hut. Continue reading →