Cape Town: Joe Slovo Road Blockade 10 September 2007

(Pictures by Martin Legassick – Anti-Eviction Campaign)
(Also see the report at Labour Net and the Bush Radio Blogg.



Monday 10th September 2007

Joe Slovo Shackdwellers Statement on N2 Highway Blockade

LANGA, CAPE TOWN – More than one thousand residents from Joe Slovo informal settlement on the N2 highway near the Cape Town airport, have blockaded the highway since 4:30am this morning.

The residents are protesting their imminent forced removal to the wasteland of Delft, over 30kms away. They have held the highway for almost 5 hours and are refusing to move.

We are angry. We want RDP house in Joe Slovo. We want the Department of Housing to stop moving our people to Delft. We refuse to be moved there. It is far from our workplaces and also from places where we look for work. Those of us who are not getting paid undecent salaries are spending every day looking for work. We can t and won t move. The government took this decision without consulting us and now they must change it, said Mzwanele from the Joe Slovo Task Team.

More than 30 Joe Slovo residents have been seriously injured by police who shot them with rubber bullets at very close range. These residents have been taken to the Bonteheuwel Day Hospital.

Currently, police helicopters are flying overhead. The residents have refuse to move off the highway and traffic into Cape Town is totally blocked.

The residents are facing off against about 150 police who are standing just opposite on the other side of the highway. They say they are waiting for the Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu to come down and respond to their memorandum. The residents have also been told that Dan Plato, City Director of Housing is coming to meet them.

For comment call Mzwanele from the Joe Slovo Task Team on 076 3852369


Anti-War statement on N2 highway blockade by 1000 shackdwellers

The people of Joe Slovo settlement in Langa, Cape Town are currently blockading the N2 highway next to the camp. Over 1000 residents have taken this drastic step after many months of false and broken promises by the state.The residents marched on 21 sept last year (2006) to provincial housing minister, Dyantye, they were met with no response; several fruitless meetings were held with him but the essential dispute remained: the people want development to be people-driven, not top-down, capitalist basis. The people want adequate RDP houses, not bond houses. The people of Joe Slovo want to stay in Langa, ie close to employment and school opportunities, not to be dumped on the outskirts of the city in Delft;

The residents marched to national minister of housing on 3 Aug this year and even though they promsed to respond to the residents within 7 days, they only issued a statement to the press and did not even meet the people.

The people of Joe Slovo are part of the millions in the country who are realising that the post-1994 democracy is a bosses – and by implication an anti-working class -democracy.

Their immediate demand is that the members of parliament come to the N2 where they are and to address their concerns. If we lived in a real democracy, there should be a window-period where the masses can exercise their right of recall over all mp s, who are not delivering on the demands of the masses. All the people ask is that the MP s cross the road to Langa, and not be concerned over opportunistic cross titutes who put self interest above the interest of the people.

It is ironic that the people of Joe Slovo settlement are merely demanding the implimentation of erstwhile Housing Minister, Joe Slovo s promises to the people, only to be met by rubber bullets and arrests.

The demand remains: adequate housing for all, close to the centre of the cities; no to forced removal to slums on the outskirts of the city!

for further information at the scene:

Mzwanele ph 0763852369


Monday September 10th 2007

The situation in Joe Slovo informal settlement alongside the N2 highway in Cape Town is absolutely terrible.

A heavily armed police force shot many more people at close range with rubber bullets (which are only supposed to be shot from a distance of more than 50 metres).

They shot women and children and people are seriously injured. The police have instructed the hospitals not to admit any Joe Slovo residents.

The police have now forced the residents off the highway. The City and National Housing politicians failed to come to Joe Slovo to accept the memorandum.

Dozens of residents have been arrested and the police are refusing to say where they have taken these residents even though some are injured. Some are in Langa police station and nobody knows where the others are.

Other community activists from Anti-Eviction Campaign have rushed to the scene.

They are fighting against us because we are the poor said Mncedisi Twala of the Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers Association.

For comment call Mzwanele from the Joe Slovo Task Team on 076 3852369



The community is off the highway but they have occupied a piece of land in Joe Slovo and are refusing to move until the arrested residents have been released. There are currently 6 police hippos threatening this peaceful demonstration.

Just about one hour ago, the police gave the protestors 20 seconds to disperse and then opened fire randomly.

News from an eyewitness who was in Joe Slovo informal settlement since 3am this morning is that when people first started occupying the N2 highway at about 3:30am this morning, the police arrived swiftly. They set up a cordon along the N2 and then started firing indiscriminately into Joe Slovo settlement.

The casspirs then drove inside Joe Slovo and again opened fire on the shacks. The entire Joe Slovo is made up of shacks. Inside the shacks were many people who could not take part in the protest, like mothers with babies, the old and infirm. They would have been targeted by these bullets.

For comment call Mzwanele from the Joe Slovo Task Team on 076 3852369


Cape Town: Video of Joe Slovo shack settlement march

the video is online at:

The press release for this march is below:

Press Statement
2nd August 2007

The residents of Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa are to march to parliament on Friday, 3rd August 2007, 10am from District Six (Keizergracht str) against their pending forced removal.

There are about 6000 residents living in shacks in Joe Slovo. They have been threatened by the N2 Gateway project with forced removal to Delft and told only that this will take place next month. There have been no negotiations with the community, who are being treated like animals by the government.

The community is currently under threat from the N2 Gateway project which is a partnership of the banks, the BEE capitalists of the N2 Gateway and the government. This partnership wants to forcibly remove Joe Slovo residents to Delft and other areas on the outskirts of the city. This pending forced removal will not only disrupt their lives but will push them further into starvation (through extra transport costs and more time spent travelling).

All the Joe Slovo children are at local schools in Langa, which also has clinics and employment projects. The vast majority of Joe Slovo residents are unemployed and only get piece work in the city centre from time to time. It will cost them R16 per day per child in taxi fare from Delft to Langa and back to send their children to school. There is no way they will be able to afford this. Schools in Delft are not at all equipped to handle an intake of hundreds more children. Besides which, residents have put a lot of effort into community projects in Joe Slovo and they are not at all willing or happy to be removed from a place relatively close to the city and dumped in Delft which is more than 30kms from the city centre and which does not even have a train station.

The resistance movements and the people have long been striving for residence close to places of work. We have also been striving for adequate housing for all people. The government claim for an end to slums is opportunistic as they are shifting the residents from Joe Slovo to a slum called Delft. The only difference will be that the new slum will be further from work and the centre of the city (out of sight and out of mind). This is nothing else but a plan for social control of the working class. We refuse to be dumped at the outskirts of the city. The government claims it is there for the needs of the people. We say they must take responsibility to adequately house all those without homes and all who are living in the slums. We salute the residents of the N2 gateway for standing up against high rents and shoddy housing conditions.

We are also disgusted that Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, has used the recent floods of shack areas in Cape Town to say that people settled on low lying areas and if they don t want to be flooded, they must submit to forced removal. This is nothing but a lie since people in Happy Valley (a place of forced removal) were also floode.

asiyi e-Delft!
we demand adequate houses for all, close to our places of work!

for comment: Joe Slovo committee: Michael Zulu ph 0763852369; Mr Mapasa ph 0837371711
Anti-War Coalition: Gary Hartzenberg ph 0723925859

N2 Protest Ultimatum – I ll remove you from waiting lists, says minister

Front Page
I ll remove you from waiting lists, says minister
N2 protest ultimatum

September 11, 2007 Edition 2

Quinton Mtyala and Sapa

HOUSING MINISTER Lindiwe Sisulu has issued a blunt warning to people whose actions led to the closure of the N2 near Langa yesterday: Continue the violent protest and be removed completely from all housing waiting lists .

She said residents of the Joe Slovo informal settlement had to decide whether they wanted to co-operate with the government and qualify for housing. If they choose not to co-operate, they will be removed completely from all housing waiting lists.

Sisulu also said the government would not tolerate indiscriminate violence in which property was vandalised.

Earlier yesterday, the protesters set up a burning barricade just off the N2, stoned police and their vehicles, broke up dwellings under construction in the N2 Gateway project alongside Joe Slovo and set a bakery delivery van alight.

Police closed both lanes of the highway for a period which included the peak morning traffic hours.

The residents were apparently protesting against a proposal to move them to temporary housing at Delft, some distance away on the Cape Flats, to make room for further Gateway construction.

Sisulu said the Gateway project management had been interacting with residents, and the violence was completely unjustified .

The Anti-Eviction Campaign described the situation as absolutely terrible . It said police had opened fire on the protesters at close range with rubber bullets. They shot women and children, and people are seriously injured …

Dozens of residents have been arrested and the police are refusing to say where they have taken these residents, even though some are injured.

Housing and Local Government MEC Qubudile Dyantyi condemned the protesters, describing their action as an act of thuggery . Dyantyi said it had become evident Joe Slovo was over-populated and that some of the people to be moved from there would be unable to return once the whole area was redeveloped.

ANC provincial secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha said the blockade was unacceptable and that protesters were either uninformed or unreasonable in their demands.

Transport MEC Marius Fransman has called for anyone involved in protests on national roads to be arrested.

From about 4am, protesters had gathered on a vacant site earmarked for the second phase of the N2 Gateway housing development.

Their reasons for protesting varied, from a refusal to be moved to Delft, where temporary housing units had been built, to charges that residents of Joe Slovo were not consulted about planned new housing.

First National Bank and the housing ministry announced a partnership in June for 3 000 bonded housing units at sites in Joe Slovo and Delft. But residents, put off by the price tag of between R150 000 to R250 000 for the houses, are demanding free RDP homes.

One resident claimed that no one from Joe Slovo was housed at the first phase of the N2 Gateway project.

Instead we have people living there from Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and other areas, he said outside the vandalised shell of a show house.

Luthando Ndabantu, who addressed protesters, said people from Joe Slovo had been promised houses after a devastating fire in January 2005.

They moved us to Delft to live in those shacks made of asbestos, said Ndabantu.

Several community leaders addressed the crowd, urging them to remain calm while police stood along the outgoing lane of the N2, which had remained closed for much of the morning. The incoming lane of the N2 was reopened at 8am when police cleared burning tyres from the road.

Several journalists were threatened with arrest by police officers on the scene as they tried to interview leaders of the protest.

Just after 11.15am, police fired rubber bullets after a deadline for opening the outgoing lane of the N2 had passed.

Several people were hit as police fanned into the shacks, with some protesters responding with small rocks.

Within 10 minutes protesters had dispersed, some returning to show their rubber bullet wounds, vowing that they would be back, as police officers stood guard along the N2.

Joe Slovo Task Team activist arrested in the night

Wednesday 12 September 2007

for comment please call Mr Mapasa from the Joe Slovo Task Team on 083 7371711

JOE SLOVO, CAPE TOWN – The situation in the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town, next to the N2 highway, is still very bad. Dozens of police have occupied the settlement since Monday. Residents are afraid to leave their houses because of police harassment and because they are afraid of being arrested.

Last night at about 6pm, Mzwanele Zulu from the Joe Slovo Task Team (who was the media contact from the area on Monday) went to the police station to inform police that the community wanted to have a general meeting inside the settlement to discuss the way forward. The police agreed not to harass or attack or shoot at the general meeting in any way. However, just minutes later at Mzwanele was walking home, police swooped on him and arrested him.

This morning, activists from Joe Slovo Task Team went to Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court but were told that Mzwanele is being held and will only appear tommorow.

From the circumstances of the past few days, it is quite clear that Mzwanele s arrest is unlawful and that he has been arrested merely for being an activist and the media spokesperson.

The Langa police (tel: 021 6958044) say that Mzwanele has been charged with public violence but that they did not arrest him, other police did. The community has heard that there was an instruction from the Provincial Commissioner to arrest Mzwanele. This is ludicrous because on Monday, the police insisted on speaking to a negotiator from N2 Task Team and Mzwanele was that negotiator. So it is clear that the arrest is unlawful.

The Task Team has also noted the Ministry of Housing lies about the imminent forced removal of the 6000 Joe Slovo residents to Delft. The Minister of Housing keeps saying that this move will be temporary. This is a bald-faced lie. Joe Slovo residents are going to be left in Delft for the rest of their lives. There are no plans to accommodate them in the new housing that is getting built in Joe Slovo. Only 1000 people maximum can be accomodated in the new Joe Slovo houses, which leaves 5000 unaccounted for. Besides, the government has refused to build RDP houses for the residents. They are instead building bond houses which will only be sold to those who can afford to pay R150 000 to R250 000 for a house – this excludes 100% of the current Joe Slovo residents who are either unemployed or in badly paid jobs like domestic work.

The Task Team appeals to the media to attend court tomorrow morning.

for comment please call Mr Mapasa from the Joe Slovo Task Team on 083 7371711

Joe Slovo Task Team activists released on free bail

Wednesday 13 September 2007


for comment please call the Joe Slovo Task Team – Mr Mapasa on 083 7371711 or Mzwanele Zulu on 076 3852369

JOE SLOVO, CAPE TOWN – Two activists who were swooped on by police on Tuesday night (Mzwanele Zulu and Mncedi Diko) and held in jail since then, were released on free bail this morning.

A crowd of Joe Slovo informal settlement protested outside the Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court until the two were released. The entire Joe Slovo community is now conducting a march of celebration through Langa.

Two nights ago, Zulu and Diko went to the police station to inform police that the community wanted to have a general meeting inside the settlement to discuss the way forward. The police agreed not to harass or attack or shoot at the general meeting in any way. However, just minutes later as they were walking home, police swooped and arrested them. They had not committed any crime and hence the arrests were unlawful. In fact, Zulu was the media spokesperson and negotiator with the police the day before and hence it is clear he was targeted for being an activist.

The Joe Slovo community has vowed not to be forcibly removed to Delft, where they firmly believe they will die a slow death, away from affordable public transport, job opportunities, schools and clinics and far from the city.

The Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu, is now clamping down on this established community of 6000 people with an iron fist, calling them squatters as if they just arrived in Cape Town yesterday. Most of the community have been living in Joe Slovo for up to 20 years and they are demanding that they get RDP houses on the land where they are living.

They have every right to make this demand, having been on the housing waiting list for a decade or more.

The community also demands that the police who are occupying the area 24 hours per day, leave immediately. This is no longer apartheid where troops were in the townships day and night. People are scared to leave their homes for fear of arrest.


for comment please call the Joe Slovo Task Team – Mr Mapasa on 083 7371711 or Mzwanele Zulu on 076 3852369


‘Forced removals not an option’
Sapa Published:Sep 13, 2007

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu yesterday denied that she was contemplating forced removals from Cape Town’s troubled Joe Slovo shack settlement.

But in the same breath she said she had instructed her department and Gateway project developers Thubelisha “to investigate legal avenues to compel residents of informal settlements to make way for housing developments”.

She said in a statement on Tuesday that she had instructed the department to look at “legal solutions” to clearing the land after Monday’s violent protests by residents.

“Until now, no attempts have been made to force residents of the informal settlement at Joe Slovo to move,” she said in Tuesday’s statement.

On Wednesday she said: “I am not contemplating forced removals from Joe Slovo, as reported in newspapers today.

“I abhor the term, with its apartheid connotations. I am investigating all available solutions to ensure the delivery of houses is not undermined.”

She said she believed most Joe Slovo residents were law-abiding people who would move off the land into temporary accommodation voluntarily — to allow developers in.

Earlier the Joe Slovo Task Team said one of its activist members, who acted as spokesman for the shack dwellers during Monday’s confrontation with police, had been arrested.

The team said Mzwanele Zulu went to the Langa police station on Tuesday evening to inform police that the community wanted to have a meeting inside the settlement to discuss the way forward.

It was “quite clear” that Zulu had been arrested merely for being an activist and a media spokesman.

Police spokesman Captain Elliot Sinyangana said two people were arrested on Tuesday night as part of ongoing investigations into the case of public violence opened in the wake of Monday’s unrest.


12 September 2007

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is playing with fire.

This is the warning from civic groups after Sisulu’s threat to remove protesting homeless people from the housing waiting lists.

Speaking in parliament in Cape Town yesterday, Sisulu said: “If they choose not to cooperate with government, they will be completely removed from all housing waiting lists.”

But Philani Dlamini, president of Abahlali base Mjondolo, said it was a disgrace for the minister to even contemplate such a move, “especially in the face of rampant corruption and the fact that some people have been on the waiting lists for more than 10 years”.

“People do not protest because it is fun. They are homeless and they are trying to knock some sense into politicians’ heads,” he said.

Anti-Privatisation Forum leader, Trevor Ngwane, said Sisulu’s threats were a clear indication that there were no waiting lists.

“If every community was to protest who would be on her waiting lists?” asked Ngwane.

He said more protests should be expected because the government was becoming arrogant.

“They have no plan to build houses for people, they only have a plan to build stadiums for the World Cup,” he said.

During question-and-answer time, Sisulu said that the government was developing a national database with strict criteria that would give housing first to children, the elderly, the sick and women-headed households.

Her comments came in the wake of protesters from the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Cape Town setting up burning barricades on the N2, stoning vehicles and destroying houses under construction.

Sisulu said the new database was aimed at eliminating corruption in allocating houses. She said the database would be similar to that used by Home Affairs and the Independent Electoral Commission. She said some of the criteria would include age, vulnerability such as sickness and whether children were involved. She said that women-headed households would “rank highly”.

“By the time the list is consolidated no one can move anyone, anywhere, anytime, without the permission of the minister,” said Sisulu.

The minister said that the government would only provide housing to those who could not afford to buy their own. She appealed to the “able-bodied” to approach the government for help to build their own houses.

The government’s flagship N2 Gateway housing project has been dogged by controversy since its inception as residents have complained of shoddy workmanship and high bonds and rents.


Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 00:04:08 +0200
Subject: Lindiwe Sisulu gets eviction order against Joe Slovo informal settlement

Today Lindiwe Sisulu, housing minister, Richard Dyantyi, provincial MEC for housing and Thubalisha homes got an eviction order against Joe Slovo residents. The issues and background have been already presented on this list.

This is apartheid-style forced removals, now on the basis of wanting to evict the poor to the outskirts of Cape Town to make way for the better off, rather than on the basis of race. It is no less dictatorial. The order will be resisted, in courts and through direct action in Joe Slovo.

Can comrades please send protests as follows (with copies to me at )

Lindiwe Sisulu
Minister of Housing,
Private Bag X654,
Phone: +27 12 421-1309

Lindiwe Sisulu,
Private Bag X9029
Phone: +27 21 466-7600

Richard Dyantyi
Private Bag X9076,
Phone: 27 21 483 4466

Prince Xhanthi Sigcawu,

General Manager


129 Bree Street
Cape Town
Western Cape

Phone: 27 21 487-9200

Joe Slovo residents will be at Cape High Court in large numbers tomorrow and protesting there Wednesday

Monday 24 September 2007

The 6000 residents of Joe Slovo informal settlement in Langa, Cape Town will be individually handing in their legal notice of their intention to oppose the state s application to forcibly remove them from their land.

The residents will be doing this all day tomorrow at the Cape High Court, ahead of Wednesday s hearing. The Ministry of Housing has applied for a court order which would allow them to forcibly remove 100 families per week for the next 45 weeks, and this will be heard by the court on Wednesday. Each and every resident vowed at community meetings this week that they would oppose this application in the High Court. The law allows for each and every resident to state why they feel they should not be forcibly removed and they intend to do just that.

On Wednesday 26th September 2007, the residents will hold a mass protest outside the High Court.

For comment call the Joe Slovo Task Team directly on these numbers:

Mzwanele Zulu – 076 3852369; Mr Sepaqa – 076 9192115; Mr Mapasa – 083 7371711

The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition was disgusted to hear that the State has tried to undermine the court s ruling by apparently already selling off the land of Joe Slovo settlement to First National Bank, allegedly for a paltry R5 million. The community has heard that FNB has now tasked Thubelisha Homes (the BEE company which builds poor quality houses across the country) with removing the current residents from the land.

The Cape Town Anti-War Coalition also calls upon the media to refrain from referring to the Joe Slovo residents as squatters whereas in fact they have been living on the same land for more than ten years and have established a tightly knit community and resource centre, among other amenities. CTAWC also urges the media to check back on previous articles about the area, because this community was long promised RDP houses on the land where they are living, and thus their demands for these homes are entirely legitimate.


5 000 at court to fight N2 evictions

Fatima Schroeder
September 26 2007 at 07:42AM

It was a day Cape High Court officials will probably never forget.

Two tables were hauled into the foyer of the court building and officials lined up behind them to stamp about 10 000 documents – two copies of a notice from each of the 5 000 families living at the Joe Slovo informal settlement to say they intend to oppose a government application for their eviction.

The notice was a single page, comprising no more than 150 words, and had to be stamped twice: by the court and attorneys.

It took the gathering of about 5 000 people more than five hours to have each of their two copies stamped by the court and by employees of Nongogo and Nuku Attorneys – the firm representing the government and housing company Thubelisha Homes.

They came by train to the city centre shortly before 11am and moved to the Paul Sauer building to the firm of attorneys representing the government and Thubelisha Homes.

There they wanted to serve a copy of the notice on the attorneys.

But they were told to wait outside the court, where representatives of the firm would receive the notices.

The large crowd then peacefully made its way across Adderley Street, into St George s Mall to the Cape High Court, stopping traffic and attracting the puzzled gazes of curious onlookers.

Some stopped in the middle of their shopping or lunches to ask what the march was about.

The armed police officers who had followed the march from the Foreshore to the court building blocked off roads to make way for marchers and sped off to the high court to wait for the people to arrive.

The crowd stopped in Keerom Street outside the court and sat in the road waiting for those in charge to explain the process.

Five residents at a time were allowed to get up and proceed to five women representing the attorneys.

The attorneys stamp was necessary proof that the residents had served the document on them.

Five women – two standing and three sitting on the steps of the court building – stamped each page before signing it and giving the date and time it was received.

After a while, employees of the nearby coffee shop, Castello s, said the women could use their tables and chairs.

In other cases, the documents are taken to room one in the building to be stamped.

But on Monday, officials working in that office and in other parts of the building set up tables in the foyer for the stamping of the documents.

The first batch were brought into the building and court official Andrew Fraser began stamping.

Moments later the others joined him.

The legal co-ordinator of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, Ashraf Cassiem, said the residents would have liked to have obtained legal representation, but there was no time to apply for legal aid.

The residents had to represent themselves and had to file individual notices of intention to oppose the application, he said.

But he emphasised that the crowd was not there to cause chaos.

We want to prove that we are not the hooligans they say we are, he said.

Mzonke Poni. of the Anti-Eviction Campaign, said he was aware of the difficulties in filing and serving the documents the way the residents had done.

But he added that they were all lay people.

We ll do it the lay way, he said.

Last week, Cape Judge President John Hlophe granted a temporary order for people to be moved.

The order was sought by Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, housing company Thubelisha, which is overseeing the N2 Gateway project, and MEC for Local Government and Housing Richard Dyantyi.

The government wants to clear land in Joe Slovo for formal housing.

Temporary housing has been arranged in Delft for the families who are to be moved.

But the people to be moved say Delft is too far away.

A schedule has been prepared for 100 families a week to be moved to Delft, beginning on Tuesday.

This will not take place, however, if the residents succeed in persuading the court that the order should not be made final.


We don t want to live in Delft
Pearlie Joubert

When Cape Judge President John Hlophe ordered a nine-week postponement to the state s attempt to evict about 25 000 Joe Slovo residents from their shacks in Langa, the 2 000 people outside court broke into wild celebratory song.

The 6 000 households of Joe Slovo have been opposing government s attempts to remove them from this piece of land bordering the N2 highway for close to three years now. Every week people are allowed to stay in Joe Slovo is seen as another victory against the state s attempt to remove them forcibly to the outskirts of Cape Town.

The housing ministry wants residents removed to make way for its controversial flagship housing project, the N2 Gateway. Phases two and three of this project have been on hold for many months because the shack dwellers of Joe Slovo refuse to be moved to Delft – an area about 20km outside the city.

Government has been moving sections of Joe Slovo residents into temporary relocation areas (TRAs) in Delft called Tsunami and Thubelisha for the past three years.

Residents in Tsunami say the place got its name because it s a disaster waiting to happen .

The TRAs are made up of 24m2 houses closely packed together. A Reconstruction and Development Programme house is generally 30m2.

Communal standpipes and communal ablution blocks stand between the houses, which are prefabricated and made of corrugated fibre-reinforced cement. There are no individual plots for each box house, which has one room.

Residents are loath to move to Delft because their social and economic networks will be severely disrupted.

Many residents who have willingly moved to Delft earlier have lost their jobs because they cannot afford transport or simply cannot get transport from Delft into Cape Town. There is no railway line linking Delft to town.

The Development Action Group (DAG) has found that 63% of people who were moved from Joe Slovo to Delft were either fired or retrenched from their jobs because they were often late or simply did not arrive for work because of lack of transport. Only 40% of the people in Joe Slovo are employed, earning an average of R1 300 per month.

Delft has no electricity. Because there is no power, people spend large amounts of money on paraffin. Policemen in Delft say the lack of power here makes Delft ungovernable at night.

Parts of Delft are pitch dark at night and it s virtually impossible to do conventional and adequate policing here – the criminals use this and robberies and rape are massive problems in Delft, a local policeman says.

This policeman, who does not want to be named, says the police are finding women hurting their babies in Delft.

The experts say it s because people are desperate and depressed. Last month a women strangled her newborn child; three months ago a women burnt her four-month-old child, he says.

Like most people sleeping in makeshift or non-permanent houses, residents of the TRAs do not feel safe because the walls of their homes can be broken with stones.

I don t feel safe here because it s so dark at night and the crime here is terrible. Thugs break your walls and come in through the door and rape the women – it has happened to women I know, says Zoleka Mnani, who voluntarily moved to Delft but wants to return to Joe Slovo.

We don t want to live here – there are no schools, no electricity and the only people making a good living here are the shebeen owners because here in this dump everybody drinks, she says.

Mnani lost her job as a contract cleaner in Langa when she moved because she could not afford the taxi fare to town.

Mbantu Mazikile came to Delft from Joe Slovo because he was promised that he would be able to return once the N2 Gateway is finished.

The ANC councillor promised that they will build us permanent houses in Langa. My family and I left with only our clothes and bedding and with the promise that we can return to Langa once they ve built houses, Mazikile says.

The same councillor (ANC Langa councillor Xolile Qope) says people should not worry too much about the lack of electricity because they will only stay in Delft temporarily – it s already been two years. Every time a new truckload of people is dropped here, my promise loses a bit of its value. It s very painful, he says.

Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and the project managers of the project, Thubelisha Homes, went to the Supreme Court two weeks ago seeking an eviction order to remove the remaining Joe Slovo residents.

For pictures of Delft go to Labour Net.