Category Archives: Jared Sacks

The Con: A Ride to Nowhere

A Ride to Nowhere

Jared Sacks

The struggle at the relatively new Marikana shack settlement in Philippi, Cape Town, has been put on hold for the past few months. The court battle between the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) acting for the community and the legal counsel representing the City of Cape Town has led to an uncomfortable purgatory for those whose homes were illegally demolished by the city in January. Other Marikana residents were not evicted and remain on the land.

The delays clearly serve the city’s interests, yet they have dire consequences for those affected by the anti-land invasion unit’s demolitions.

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M&G: Avert forced removals by giving the rich’s land to the poor

Avert forced removals by giving the rich's land to the poor

Jared Sacks

The outcry over this past week’s brutal eviction of shack dwellers in Lwandle, outside Cape Town, has prompted new Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu, to step in and temporarily allow residents back on the land from which they were evicted. She promised to investigate the matter and pursue what she called “unanswered questions”.

There are indeed many unanswered questions about this eviction.

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The Mercury: Walk a mile in shack dweller’s shoes

by Jared Sacks

“The anger of the poor can go in many directions,” said S’bu Zikode, the president of Abahlali baseMjondolo

Years ago I began to support a unique and influential social movement called Abahlali baseMjondolo, the shack dwellers’ movement. At the time, the movement had just refused to work with an influential leftist NGO called the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Supported by the militant Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, Abahlali baseMjondolo had protested against the takeover of the Social Movement Indaba by NGOs such as the Centre for Civil Society. As grassroots activists, they understood that their voice was being managed and also often silenced by those on the Left coming from more privileged backgrounds, who sought to control the politics of the social movements.

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Daily Maverick: Analysis: Landmark judgment – what constitutes a home?

On Thursday, the Cape High Court ruled in favour of the Marikana occupiers and instructed the City of Cape Town to rebuild the homes they 'unconstitutionally and unlawfully' destroyed on 7 and 8 January. The importance of this landmark ruling, if it is upheld, cannot be overstated. Its impact will reverberate in municipalities throughout the country. Anti-Land Invasion units beware: your operations have now been judged illegal. By JARED SACKS.

The City of Cape Town's official guidelines for the Anti-Land Invasion unit (ALI) defines a 'home' in negative terms:

A structure is not a 'home' until it has been inhabited by a person or persons who reside in the structure with their belongings and intend to continue doing so.

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Sweet Home: A Preliminary Investigation into the Socio-Political Character of Recent Road Blockades by Protesting Shack Dwellers in South Africa

Jared Sacks

For much of the winter of 2012, communities in shack settlements across Cape Town took to the streets in some of the most active civil disobedience protests since 1994. Knowing that the mainstream political terrain often seeks to obfuscate and mislead the public about the true nature of these protests, this paper investigates claims by politicians from the Democratic Alliance (DA) that these protests were being coordinated by the Youth League of the African National Congress (ANCYL). These big political players moralize the debate, shifting the focus from the perfectly legitimate issues of service delivery and demands for meaningful engagement. Speaking directly to community members of Sweet Home Farm, an informal settlement of 15,000 people in the Philippi area, revealed a yawning chasm between what official players are saying about Sweet Home and the actual realities on the ground.


Road Blockades in Sweet Home Farm