Anti-Eviction Campaign vows to intensify boycott and campaign against FNB, the bank of forced removals

Press Release
11 October 2007

The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign vowed yesterday to intensify its campaign against First National Bank (FNB) because of the bank’s partnership with privatised housing company, Thubelisha Homes.

The Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers Forum announced that it would join the campaign against FNB.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign rejects FNB’s claim that it is not involved in trying to forcibly remove the residents of Joe Slovo. FNB has apparently “bought” the land currently housing Joe Slovo residents for R5 million and are working in partnership with Thubelisha Homes to make huge profits once the current residents are forcibly removed.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign has already issued a call to all citizens who oppose forced removals to boycott FNB. Now the Campaign is planning protest action against the bank.

FNB has known very well all along that the people of Joe Slovo have been living on that land for well over a decade and they have the right to get free RDP houses built for them. By buying up the land they have shown that they thoroughly support the forced removal of Joe Slovo residents.

Since FNB heard about the boycott and campaign against them they have been crying crocodile tears, with claims that ” All we wanted to do was to assist in easing the housing backlog by creating affordable homes.” Yet 95% of the residents of Joe Slovo are unemployed and those who are working, get very low salaries. FNB knows very well that the residents cannot afford their R200 – R300 000 homes, and yet it is still persisting with this development.

“This smacks of capitalism and is reminiscent of the Group Areas Act, except that this is done in a supposedly free and democratic society,” said Gary Hartzenberg from the Anti-Eviction Campaign.

For comment call Mncedisi Twala of the Gugulethu Backyard Dwellers Forum on 078 5808646 or Gary Hartzenberg of the Anti-Eviction Campaign on 072 3925859.