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Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, 24 July 2008

Memorandum to Thubelisha Homes:

You were given the responsibility for building housing as the principle agent and developer of the national N2 Gateway Housing Project. This was a special responsibility and you could not deliver.

First, your forcibly removed people to Temporary Relocation Areas with the false promise of housing. Then, you were responsible for the building of flats of substandard quality for poor people who need homes. Then, you carried out a mass eviction of people who were on the waiting list for housing for more than twenty years; six months later they are still on the pavement in the dead of winter opposite your empty houses. Now you want to evict more people from shacks to build more shoddy housing.

Is it any surprise that you ran out of money, not trying to deliver adequate, decent, affordable housing, but because of lawyer’s fees for eviction court cases? This is like a curse that you have put on yourself for not thinking of the poor.

This is not the first time that you have attempted to exploit the poor people of this country. For years, you have gone unchallenged and now you have met your match, it is too late for you.

And now:

– because you could not manage this N2 Gateway Housing Project;
– because you participate in the outsourcing and privatisation of housing delivery;
– because you operate like an apartheid agent;
– because you are cowards;
– because of your gross violation of human rights through mass evictions;
– because of your bureaucracy and corruption;
– because of your combination of extravagant spending with poor workmanship and lack of capacity;

You are now dead. We do not expect any letters or summons from ghosts. The truth will now arise. Fair well and good riddance.

REST IN PEACE

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24 July 2008

Memorandum to Trafalgar Property Management:

You are an international company that manages properties for rich people. Yet, for the past year, you have been attempting to manage the flats in Joe Slovo Phase 1, shelter for poor people that you treat as if they were homes in rich suburbs.

We do not know you. We never met you. We do not have any agreement with you. Yet, for the past three months, you have been sending the residents of Joe Slovo Phase 1 threatening lawyer’s letters because they refuse to pay your extravagant rent.

The agreement you have is with Thubelisha Homes, not with the residents of Joe Slovo Phase 1. We never signed any contract with you. We don’t need any more letters from you as they create heartache and pain for pensioners and single parents. Keep your papers and ink.

In future, avoid abusing poor people on behalf of the state. Do not participate in the privatization and outsourcing of housing management. We are sick and tired of government agents.

Now that you are buried, we can rest easy knowing that you can no loner exploit the poor people on the N2 Gateway Housing Project..

REST IN PEACE

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24 July 2008

M E M O R A N D U M

To Richard Dyantyi, MEC for Local Government and Housing:

You are responsible for seeing to the needs of over half a million pensioners, single parents, farm workers and other poor people who desperately need proper housing, especially now that it is winter. This is your job.

But your current annual budget allows for only 12,000 homes to be built, when in fact the need increases by 22,000 units each year. If you continue business as usual, the number of homeless in the Western Cape will increase, instead of decrease, by another half of million. When you think of your children, think of all our poor children living in shacks, in backyards, and homeless, especially now in the wintertime. Is this the future you wish for our country?

You need to declare the housing backlog a State of Emergency. Start by scrapping the laws that allow for the eviction of poor people until we all have homes, security, and comfort.

Your department must take direct responsibility for housing, housing delivery, and housing management. But you continue to outsource and privatise housing and housing delivery, as if it is a solution, rather than acknowledge that this is part of the problem. Evict Traflagar and Thubelisha Homes, not the poor people. To us, Trafalgar and Thubelisha Homes are now dead and buried.

You have been given one more chance to deliver on the needs of the poor. To educate and inform you about real public participation and the needs of our communities, see the ballot box that we have left you. Take this as your mandate for delivery. Also, take it as a reminder that we will not vote until we have land and housing. No land, no house, no vote.

Yours sincerely,

On Behalf of the poor communities of the Western Cape

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For more, please visit the website of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign at:
http://www.antieviction.org.za
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AEC March on Richard Dyantyi, Thubelisha Homes, and Trafalgar Property Management – final reminder

Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Wednesday, 23 July, 2008


Event: March for community control over the housing process
Time: 10am
Date: Thursday July 24th, 2008
Location: Assemble in Keizergragt Street (march to Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing)

Cape Town — All three communities affected by the N2 Gateway fiasco – the pet national housing project of Lindiwe Sisulu – will be marching tomorrow morning to claim that they are not stupid, that they can think, that they must be at the centre and in control of any housing policy that effects them. Communities are tired of the government’s authoritarian way of governing. This is not a protest about lack of service delivery, but a protest about the undemocratic structure of government.

Communities are calling on government to end the privatisation of services to private companies like Thubelisha Homes and Trafalgar Properties. Communities are marching to Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing to claim service delivery as their own and to mandate government to carry out the wishes of the people in the manner the people decide.

1. Housing is not an excuse to evict shackdwellers.
2. Sustainability is not an excuse to raise rents on shoddily constructed flats.
3. Order is not an excuse to violently evict families who have nowhere else to go.

We are marching to claim our right to dignity! We are marching to claim our right to humanity! We will assert our right to express ourselves despite government’s attempts to silence us and prevent us from being heard!

Phansi Forced Removal! Phansi High Rent! Phansi Privatisation!

For more information:

Ashraf Cassiem 072 976 9446
Mncedisi Twalo 078 580 8648
Gary Hartzenberg 072 3925859

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