Category Archives: Abahlali baseMjondolo baseLanga TRA

Open Letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille regarding her failure to receive our memoranda and treat us with dignity

Open Letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille regarding her failure to receive our memoranda and treat us with dignity

Dear Mayor Patricia de Lille,

Re: failure to receive our memoranda and treat us with dignity

As shackdwellers from Sweet Home, Samora Machel and Langa TRA, we would like to express our shock and extreme displeasure at the way you have treated us by refusing to accept our memoranda during our march on the 1st of October 2012.

Almost 500 of us decided to march on the Mayor, the Premier and the offices of the Housing Development Agency to show how we are being ignored by the government when they fail to engage with our legitimate grievances. Despite this, you as the Mayor continues to ignore us, disrespect us, and undermine us.

When we organised the march, city officials called on us to meet with them at the Civic Centre as required by legistlation. These officials agreed to help facilitate our march from Salt River Train Station to the Civic Centre, the Provincial Parliament and HDA. However, at the last minute, without even consulting with us, our march was re-routed forcing us to begin at Keisergraght and to not go to the Civic Centre. We assume this was a political move by the City to prevent us from coming to your office.

Officials did assure us, however, that the City would still meet us at the provincial parliament to receive our memorandum.

This unilateral re-routing of the march is a violation of the 1993 Gatherings Act and shows how our Constitutional right to march and gather when we want and where we want is being assaulted from – Marikana to Durban to Cape Town. We feel shamelessly undermined by the City of Cape Town which had no good reason to prevent our march from Salt River Station.

Expectations not fulfilled

The purpose of our march as poor shackdwellers not aligned to any political party was to meet the Premier and the Mayor who are responsible for ensuring that government talks to us and works with us. Yet, neither the Premier nor yourself in the capacity as the Executive Mayor of our City feel that we are important enough to accept our memoranda in person.

Furthermore, Mayor Patricia de Lille, you have shown us the most disrespect because you did not even bother to send over a representative from your office to accept the memoranda in your place. We have proof that you have been informed that we requested you to receive our memoranda on the 1st of October and you have even replied acknowledging receipt of our request (see the attached email correspondence).

Instead you kept us waiting outside the Provincial Housing Department and we eventually, reluctantly, agreed to request that MEC Madikizela forward our memoranda to your office.

This type of behaviour is shocking to us! Do you think so little of us poor shackdwellers that you don’t even recognise us as human beings?

We don’t know if you and your fellow government officials will even respond to us or address our demands which we have attached for you. You will probably just throw it in the dustbin with the memoranda from all the other protesting communities in the City of Cape Town. You’re officials will probably continue to ignore our emails and phone calls when you fail to provide us with the services promised to us.

Just in case you do bother to read it, we have attached our memoranda. If you fail to respond and to meet with us within 14 days, we will be returning to your office.

Lulama Magadla (084 433 8461,

On behalf of:
Sweet Home shack settlement
Samora Machel informal settlements forum
Abahlali baseMjondolo baseLanga TRA