Category Archives: mandela park

Backyarders to march today on MEC Madikizela

10 October 2012
Mandela Park Backyarders Press Statement

Backyarders to march today on MEC Madikizela

The Mandela Park Backyarders will be marching in Cape Town to the offices of MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela today at 10am.

The march will demonstrate our disappointment in the MEC and his broken promise that he made two years ago.

Two yeras ago, Madikizela wrote us a letter telling us that 80 plots in Mandela Park were to be given to poor backyarders in Mandela Park for the purposes of housing. Now, two years since the promise, the community is still in possession of this letter of empty promises. Since the letter was written to us, they have never followed up with us and have refused to meet with us or given us a blueprint for this development.

At the same time, whenever we attempt to get his office to reply, they continue to ignore us. We are now sick and tired of begging him to fulfill the promise he has made.

We demand that his office tell us exactly when they are planning on building these 80 houses and handing the land over to our community.

For more info, please contact

Slulami @ 0736200781
Khaya @ 0780241683

We continue our call for Madikizela to resign

1 August 2011
Mandela Park Backyarders Press Statement

We continue our call for Madikizela to resign

A few days ago, Madikizela attacked the Backyarders in a press statement after we found new evidence of corruption and calls for his resignation were published in the Cape Times.

First and foremost, it is important to give a clear picture that will clarify our position as the Mandela Park Backyarders for the benefit of those who don’t follow the housing crisis in Mandela Park.

Our response

We, the Mandela Park community, call for Human Settlements MEC of the Western Cape Bonginkosi Madikizela to produce the minutes of his supposed meetings with the Mandela Park Backyarders. We all know that those meetings with the Backyarders never existed. But he has lied and said that these meetings have recently taken place. He has continued to met with some of the Khayelitsha community, but never with us.

We, the Mandela Park community, call on Madikizela to not only do something about the Quick Project investigation into Project 493 (RDP houses) which found significant instances of corruption (which Madikizela refuses to do anything about), but also to investigate all other instances of corruption in all housing projects within Mandela Park. In his press statement, Madikizela claimed that the 12 houses that we have found to be corruptly allocated, were part of Project 493. He is wrong. The 12 houses which we found to be irregularly allocated are not part of the survey the MEC claims, they belong to a new project (unknown to residents in Mandela Park as we were not consulted) which began last year when beneficiaries were unlawfully allocated incomplete structures contrary to housing code.

Meaningful engagement

We must remind our the public and the media that the MEC is supposed to be a public servant to the people of the Western Cape. We are not his servants. We are protected by law which says that all public servants, including those that deal with housing, must meaningfully engage with affected community members even if that public servant doesn’t want to do so. This is the result of Concourt cases such as Grootboom, Olivia Road and Joe Slovo. In calling us hooligans, selfish and ignoring our legitimacy in the eyes of the community, Madikizela acting illegally and in contravention with the constitution.

We are convinced that his personal attack against the Mandela Park Backyarders is an attempt to stamp out the truth about his failure to deal with nature and complexity of the Mandela Park housing crisis. This crisis began years back, long before he became the MEC, but he continues with the same policies as his predecessors.

False promises and lies

In his public address in September 2009, Madikizela promised that in his next project in Mandela Park, the Backyarders will be accommodated.

Again in October last year the MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela sent a letter addressed to Mandela Park Backyarders via his developer, SEBRA, which said that in the next financial year (2011-12) Mandela Park Backyarders will be prioritized (we have the letter to prove this).

It must be made clear now, the above empty promises as well as other promises were never fulfilled by the MEC. He has refused time and time again to honor his words.

The MEC is misleading members of the public and those who don’t follow the whole story can easily find themselves on the wrong side.

Bond houses integrated with RDP houses

It seems to us that there is attempt by government to create what experts call ‘integrated communities’ with varying income levels living side-by-side. We see integration is a good thing because it counters segregation and separation of people.

However, what the Human Settlements Department is doing in Mandela Park is not really integration. The majority of those who live in bond houses in Mandela Park are only slightly better off than the poor Backyarders. They are still poor. Therefore, our government essentially has a policy of integrating the poor with the slightly less poor.

Yet, when we ask for houses to be built in rich communities such as Bishops Court or Camps Bay, this becomes impossible. The government is happy to lower the value of the cheapest bond houses by building RDP housing at its side. However, integration with rich white communities is off the table. Our government is clearly against meaningful integration and desegregation of our communities.

As a result, we have increased levels of corruption with a large number of unqualified people (such as bank managers, police officers, construction managers) occupying and renting out RDP houses in the hope that one day they will be able to sell this land for profit. You also have huge numbers of families who pay much more than the decreased value of their house to the banks who are not affected by these property prices. This is just another way to hand over profit to developers and banks.

Our position as a community-driven movement

We are social justice activists. This means our task is to hold those in power accountable for all injustices in our communities. If we see people excluded in a development happening in their community, we will to raise this issue that without any fear of being vilified by government officials.

The MEC is not only refusing to recognize the Mandela Park Backyarders, but the community in general has also been denied access to know what is going on. In refusing to consult the Backyarders, he is refusing to consult with the entire community.

We warn of such leadership style that focuses on selective memory. Madikizela is serving a system that had always benefited from the mystification of the way society works – this is of a serious matter. His attack of our leadership and attacks on our movement will only encourage us to work harder to protect our community from deceit.

Our leadership is the one our people have been waiting for. As Kwandiwe Kondlo has put it, we need the kind of leadership which cultivates bonds of solidarity and trust. This is the leadership that emerges from what we are building as the Mandela Park Backyarders. It is a leadership rooted among people and we shall continue to carry our mandate without fear of being labeled by those coming from above.

Call for resignation

We hear that MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s resignation or reappointment is imminent. We would welcome such a development and ask Helen Zille to consult with us on his replacement.

For all the reasons laid out above, we reiterate our call for Bonginkosi Madikizela to resign with immediate effect!

For more information, contact:

Slu @ 0714331101
Luzuko @ 0739662188
Khaya @ 0780241683

Open letter to Madam Mayor Patricia de Lille on the Mandela Park Land and Housing Crisis

Open letter to Madam Mayor Patricia de Lille on the Mandela Park Land and Housing Crisis
19 July 2011

Dear Madam Mayor,

While the Mandela Park Backyarders continue to receive no attention from the Western Cape Human Settlement MEC (Bonginkosi Madikizela), private property owners continue to monopolise the land that is already in short supply in Mandela Park. It appears that some officials refuse to learn from their past mistakes of ignoring the poor solely because they have gained politically in the process.

We believe the MEC for housing (Bonginkosi Madikizela) held several secret meetings with the Gugulethu backyarders recently where ANC, ward 97(Councilor Mthwalo Mkhutswana) was invited to discuss the housing development which the department intent to commence in Mandela Park.

For your own information Madam Mayor, “SEBRA” (the company that was employed as developers to unblock both projects 497 and 823 in Mandela Park) once again misused the public funds and then vanished without any accounting of their finances by the department. We wish to put before your office that a few weeks before SEBRA’s disappearance last year in October, they presented us with a letter they claimed to have been written by Mr Madikizela to Mandela Park Backyarders. One of the highlighted sentences in the letter reads as follows:

“In the next financial year (2011/12) Mandela Park Backyarders will be prioritised. This meant with the next build order the MEC is committing himself to build houses for Mandela Park Backyarders.”

The said financial year begun on the 31 July 2011 and we assume prior to any execution of any work our community be consulted as part of normal processes. However, there has been zero consultation from Madikizela or his department.

No public meetings have been held to report to the community and all we see that our land being graded and levelled by new developers other than SEBRA. It is very clear to us that the department of human settlement uses a systematic strategy to further divide communities in the name of development. In the case of Mandela Park this is done by both the ward 97 councillor Mthwalo Mkhutswana & the MEC for Human Settlement Bonginkosi Madikizela.

We wish to inform you that the Mandela Park Backyarders are the only democratically elected and recognised structure in our community. We will now call a public meeting where the housing development will be discussed in depth, and then from there we will take action to ensure promises are kept and development does not proceed without us.

We have already written numerous letters to the Provincial Department of Human Settlements. We have no intention to write and further letters to the MEC’s office since they continue to ignore us. We write to your office hoping to achieve consultation, democracy and transparency that you once spoke of prior to recent local government elections.

For more information contact:

Slu – 0714331101
Khaya – 0780241683
Ndende – 0791578844

Backyarders and others to us PAIA to demand government’s secrets about our communities

Backyarders and others to us PAIA to demand government’s secrets about our communities

Backyarders Press Statement – 24 May 2011

The Mandela Park Backyarders will be going this morning to both the Provincial Department Housing and to the National Parliament this morning to submit a list of demands to access information about their community under the PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act).

We demand:

* Documents or any other record that provides details of the Councillor’s Budget from 1995–2011. We demand the specifics as to how much was allocated, how much was spent, full details of the expenditure and documents with proof of those who had approved that expenditure.
* Documents or any other records that show the criteria that was used to allocate houses in Mandela Park.
* Documents or any other records that explain the Intergrated Development Plan for Mandela Park.
* Documents or any other records on Councillor’s meetings in Ward 97 with specific details on what had been discussed and decisions that have been taken.
* Documents or any other records that provide details about the ward boundary re-demarcation process with a specific focus on the ‘so-called’ consultation process and procedures followed where government is said to have engage community members.
* Documents and any other records that provide details of land ownership in Mandela Park.
* Documents or any other records that show who exactly is on the government housing waiting list for the community of Mandela Park.

We feel there is significant corruption and unfairness in the above processes and we seek this information to better explain to our members how government has sidelined the poor in Mandela Park from our constitutional right to development.

Members of the Right2Know campaign, together with the Mandela Park Backyarders, the Newfields Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Symphony Way Anti-Eviction Campaign and Zille-Rein Heights community have decided to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to get access to information to address the violation of our Constitutional rights as communities.

We have already requested and have experienced challenges getting the above mentioned information because government seems to want to keep us in the dark about our own conditions.

However, we believe it is our right to access such information. In a real democracy, this information would not need a PAIA as the information would have already been provided by government officials to our communities.

For more information:

Khaya: 0780241683 from Backyarders
Luzuko: 0739662188 from Backyarders
Nkwame: 0782276008 from Right to Know Campaign

Backyarders to hold Anti-X protest on election day

Backyarders to hold Anti-X protest on election day

17 May 2011

The Mandela Park Backyarders will have a peaceful march in our own community tomorrow morning from 7am. It will be a symbolic event similar to our Anti-Vote Summit where we will be marking an “Anti-X” vote.

The march is an indication of our unhappiness regarding service delivery, the mismanagement of state resources by officials, and the inability of any political party to work with us rather than against us. Service delivery cannot happen without consulting us and involving us every step of the way. We will also be expressing our anger towards government and the police for their violent repression of peaceful protests and land occupations by the poor such as in Talfelsig over the weekend.

We take seriously the right to vote which we believe is as an individual right of each person living in South Africa. There are some people experiencing positive change in their communities and they therefore can vote if the feel they want to.

Equally, those of us who do not experience positive changes in our community because the system does not allow for a progressive people’s politics have a right to boycott the vote. Boycotting the vote is a vote against the political status quo which gives us a choice between Helen Zuma and Jacob Zille – which is really no choice at all.

Please note: Our members are warned not to undermine the right of others to cast their vote and we will respect all IEC rules and regulation to avoid unnecessary conflicts between poor people. (According to the Constitution and the Gatherings Act, we have a right to march on election day as long as we do not do so in the immediate vicinity of a polling station. We will follow the law tomorrow).

For more information:

Slu >> 0736200781
Loyiso >> 0737662078
Nomonde >> 0781862142