Category Archives: Soshanguve concerned Residents Group

Help this Poor Woman

A humble request for help to a needy family

To our Beloved South Africa and the world,

I am making this humble request to help the needy family in Block R informal settlement- Soshanguve, Pretoria. Ms. Anna Monyamani Kubayi is a middle aged single parent with seven mouths to feed every day. Of the seven, five are her biological children while two are her grand children born of her first-born daughter who died in 2007.

When her daughter died, she left behind two children: Mathew, who was only ten years and Macia who was four years then. Ms Kubayi was forced to adopt her orphaned grand children and brought then into her house, putting extra burden in the already impoverished household. What put salt to the wound is that Ms Kubayi is unemployed. She lives in a dilapidated tin-house with all these children. Her shack is one of many that the City of Tshwane threatened to demolish late last year. The City only suspended the unlawful evictions when Abahlali baseMjondolo’s sister organisation, The Soshanguve Concerned Residents Group took the Municipality to Court, forcing the latter to make an undertaking not to evict the affected community from their homes and allowing round-table negotiations regarding the future of the squatter-camp and its residents to take place.

The shack that Ms Kubayi lives in with her children and grand children is leaking and when it rains, it turns into a swimming pool. The biggest problem that Ms Kubayi is facing, which prompted the Concerned residents Committee to write this letter of request is that one of the orphans living with Ms Kubayi is paraplegic since birth. This child, known as Mathew is also having neurological disorders. The child is bed ridden and cannot walk. During 2010, Mathew’s grandmother, (Ms Kubayi) enrolled him at a school for the disabled children in Hamanskraal but forced to withdraw him during the middle of the year due to the “pressure sores” that developed on the child’s buttocks. Since then, the 13 years old paraplegic spends most of his time in bed. Before the child’s mother passed away, Ms Kubayi used to work for herself at Mabopane Train station, selling vegetables to the commuters but since Mathew came to live with her, she was forced to stay at home in order to nurse him full time. Ms Kubayi informed us that as Mathew cannot walk by himself, she is forced to carry him around, however; it is difficult to carry him because he is heavy and as a result, sometimes she would carry him in an old wheelbarrow if she need to take him elsewhere. She also uses to dress him with the adults’ disposable nappies so that if he wants to answer the call of nature while she is not nearby, he can do so without soiling his clothes. We asked Ms Kubayi what kind of help would she like and she responded that the first thing she would appreciate is a wheel chair that is propelled by a battery for her grand-son. Such a device would help Mathew to move himself even if she is not around. She also mentioned that it will assist him especially while at School. The second thing that Ms Kubayi wishes to have is an RDP house for her family.

We also asked Mathew what he wishes us to do and his response was that he want us to help the family with something to eat and with the wheel chair so that he can go to School. I was mandated by The Concerned Residents Committee to write this letter to plead for help from anyone who is able to donate. We are asking for individuals and organisations that have means to come to the aid of this family. We are asking for a donation of a wheel chair that is ergonomically designed to help Mathew move around. Secondly, if possible, please help Ms Kubayi get a House as well. Any other help that would improve the quality of life for this household is also welcome.

I am attaching a picture of the Kubayi family for you to see.
Remember the saying that: BLESSED IS THE HAND THAT GIVES………

Written By Selata wa’Nkwane (obo: Soshanguve Concerned Residents Committee)
For more information, please contact Selata wa’Nkwane at:
Mobile: +27 79 598 1726(Selata) or 076 681 6430(Katlego); email: salvationtrust@webmail.co.za; skype: nkwanesa3

AbM is Resisting Illegal Evictions in Block R & KK Settlements, Soshanguve, Pretoria

ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO (SOSHANGUVE CHAPTER), ARE FIGHTING TO STOP THE UNLAWFUL EVICTIONS OF THE POOR IN BLOCK R AND KK INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS.

Abahlali baseMjondolo under the auspice of the Soshanguve concerned Residents Group(SCRG) have been involved in a protracted struggle to stop the City of Tshwane from arbitrarily evicting the poor people living in Block R and KK informal settlements without following proper lawful channels.

In a memorandum handed to the former speaker of the council (Councillor Khorombi) and the former City Mayor (Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa), the Concerned Resident’s group acting on behalf of the residents, stated that Since July 2009, the Counselor have been overstepping his mandate by acting contrary to the dictates of the law. It is their believe that the Counselor is acting ultra vires and looking down upon the rights of the people as enshrined in the 1996 constitution and the PIE Act. The people of Block R and KK informal settlements pointed out that while their area was regarded as an informal settlement, they are the formal citizens of the Republic and deserve to be treated with respect, fairness and justice. Not so long ago, like the rest of the South Africans, they bought into the promises pledged by the ruling party of a “better life for all” and joined in the long queues to vote for them. “Our vote is not in any way different or inferior to the one cast by the people from formalized areas” they said.

They requested the mayor to instruct Counselor Ngwenya to refrain from abusing his power and acting outside his jurisdiction. They also charged that Ngwenya is failing them by practicing divide and rule tactics where he cunningly corner the vulnerable people (especially the elderly and illiterate) and told them to leave their homes permanently. He then come back and claim that these people left voluntarily. The place they sent the people is block SS, Ext. 5, an uninhabitable piece of land without basic infrastructure. (There are few taps of water there and the entire community has to rely on about five mobile toilets).

On other instances, Mr. Ngwenya has send sms’s to the residents instructing them to leave and those who refused to go were threatened that their homes will be demolished by Makaleng Joint-Venture, a company believed to be owned by a senior official in the Housing department of the Municipality. All this was done without considering the economic impact on this people who, most of them are not even employed. A lot of families had children who are attending school nearby and the relocations would obviously bring hardship to these families and their children with regard to their travelling expenses to and from School.

The mayor was also reminded that in her state of the City Address during May 2009, she mentioned that Block KK would be formalized within the current financial year. After the memorandum was given, the speaker arranged a formal meeting with the concerned residents committee and the problems were discussed at length. An in- loco inspection of the area concerned was also undertaken. The speaker ordered that while the matter was being investigated, the council should put the evictions into abeyance.

It was then that the council stated that the reason for removing the People out of Block KK is that they are located very close to a solid waste dump and in terms of the certificate from the Department of water Affairs, a buffer zone of 800m should be observed from the dump to the nearest human settlement area.

With regard to Erf 1939 Block R, they stated that the area was earmarked for Business.

Further, the Council stated that they have a court order which empowers them to evict this people.

In conclusion, the council passed a resolution that the people would be evicted anytime from the date that the last meeting was held.

In reply, The Concerned resident’s committee representatives stated that:

i. The Mayor had promised that Block KK would be formalized;
ii. The people lived in the area before the Solid waste dump was established;
iii. The waste dump is located close to human settlement in contravention of the license to observe the 800m buffer not vice versa;
iv. Other than the informal site at Block KK, There are other established formal settlements in the surrounding including a live- in reformatory School and a place of safety for destitute children.
v. The Stench and flies that come from the dump is pausing a health hazard not only to the people at the informal settlement but to the entire area;
vi. More than 1000 house- holds and the schools are affected by the dump that is placed without considering the license requirements;
vii. The municipality was further informed that the Court order that they claim to be an authoritative base for their action was inappropriate because it was not meant for the residents of the informal settlements. This was an order that was granted to the municipality to stop the people from illegal invasion of municipal owned land. However, in this case, we are talking of the people who are already living in the area for a considerable period of time, not does who intend to invade as stated in the order;
viii. Even if the order was appropriate to be used as a authority for evictions, it would not apply to the people of block KK informal settlement because they were not cited as respondents in the application.
ix. Further, Even if you can remove the people who occupy the land informally at Block KK, the problem of environmental health affecting the lives of many other people who live in the vicinity where the solid waste dump is unlawfully located will continue: this is in violation to section 24 of the 1996 constitution;
x. With regard to Erf 1939 Block R, the area is well suited for human settlement as compared to Block SS where the people were to be settled;
xi. The reason given by the council is that when the town planners made their plan over twenty years ago, there was no business centre in the area and the people from there had to travel a long distance to Mabopane Station. However, as we speak today, a new modern shopping complex with Banks, Restaurants, Supermarkets and the post office etc has been built about half a kilometer from the site in question;
xii. The problem of addressing a need for viable business centre has since being addressed;
xiii. The site in Block SS ext 5 is still under geological survey and most parts of this land is swampy and lies on a dolomite and flood line, making it unsuitable for human settlement, especially the poor who do not have means to develop the area;

With the above facts at hand, the concerned residents committee recommended the following:

a) Tshwane Municipality must stop the all the evictions in both Block R and KK informal settlements permanently;
b) Tshwane Municipality to formalize and develop the affected areas into formal residential areas;
c) Tshwane Municipality to close down the solid waste dump which is seen as a stumbling block to the development of Block KK informal settlement (This move shall also help to resolve the environmental health hazard posed by the dump);
d) Should there be a compelling reason for the Municipality not to meet recommendations A and B above, and the people be forced to be relocated, such relocation should be done with due consideration of section 4(7) of the PIE Act;
e) Further, The Municipality must ensure that the area where people are to be relocated must be well serviced with RDP houses or shelters of equal or above status as those where the people are currently living;
f) The cost of relocating the People and erecting new temporary shelters must be borne by the Municipality.

This is aimed at safeguarding the vulnerable citizens as alluded by the Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke in the Constitutional court matter between the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement and the City of Cape Town.

The honorable judge stated then that:” no matter how commendable the government’s intentions about the use of land, without the solid promise of alternative housing, evictions might turn out to be a method of brutal state control and far from the progressive realization of the socioeconomic rights the 1996 constitution guaranteed”

So far, the municipality has not agreed to these proposals and the residents are waiting for the bulldozers to come and break their shacks that have been their home for many years. At the mean time, the Community has approached the Lawyers for human rights to help if the municipality implements its threat. The real worry that the residents have currently is what the future holding for them. They would like the Municipality to implement the recommendations made by the Soshanguve Concerned residents Committee but up to so far, the municipality is quite. The Residents are becoming impatient about this silence and their anger hangs like a time bomb which may soon explode into flames as seen in many areas within the country.

This press release is prepared by: Selata wa’Nkwane
(obo: the Soshanguve Concerned Residents Group)
Tel: 076 192 44 77
Email: salvationtrust@webmail.co.za
Skype: nkwanesa3