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 →
A ministerial housing project has gone awry in Clermont, Durban. Fifteen families who refuse to destroy their homes and move into a transit camp to make way for planned developments are under siege. Among families resisting relocation are the Mlandus. Arsonists attempted to petrol-bomb their home early Friday morning, but only a rock and the burning rag – the fuse of the “bomb” – penetrated through the windows. The bottle dropped outside.
“I was awoken around 2am by my daughter’s loud scream – ‘Vukani ma, nibaleke!’ (Wake up, ma. We must run),” said Nompumelelo Mlandu. “I saw a flame outside my window. I rushed to grab my grandson and got out the house… I am still shaken, but in greater fear of what’s to come next,” said Mlandu. “If something is not done soon, we are all going to die burning in our sleep.”
On Tuesday the Isipingo Transit Camp was flooded once again. It is built on a flood plain and there is no drainage and so there are regular floods. The residents took to the streets and organised a road blockade in protest at the living conditions that have been forced on them against their will.
Our movement has rejected transit camps from the first moment that that they appeared and we have constantly called for them to abolished and for all people that have been forced into these inhuman places to be provided with decent housing as a matter of urgency. The municipality has now announced that they will not build any more transit camps and they have promised to house people in transit camps. Their decision to stop building transit camps is a victory that comes directly from our struggle. We welcome this victory but we do not see clear plans to provide decent housing to the 10 000 people who have been sentenced to the transit camps. Therefore our struggle against the transit camps continues and it will continue until every person forced into a transit camp has access to decent housing.
Durban – Residents of the Isipingo transit camp say they are fed up with empty promises by municipal officials that they would be relocated to housing projects elsewhere in the city.
As the heavy rains continued to flood their homes this week, residents protested on the main road, burning tyres.
The camp is built in a flood plain and with little in the way of a drainage system, flooding is frequent occurrence.
Stagnant water lies in pools around the camp, a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Here and there rocks, planks and bricks have been placed to create stepping stones around the camp.
Unemployed mother-of-three, Meshi Kesram, 36, said her home had been flooded numerous times in the five years she had been at the transit camp. On the worst occasion the flood water was over one metre high.