Event: Backyarders to close down corrupt housing project in Mandela Park
Date/Time: 08h00 on 17 August 2010
Location: Building site next to Nomsa Maphongwana Primary School in 21 Section, Mandela Park
The Mandela Park Backyarders have been short changed once again regarding the provision of housing in Mandela Park. The councillor, his corrupt Steering Committee, as well as the Housing MEC, have lied to the people as usual. The housing chaos of the past year in our area saw people from Site C, Gugulethu or people who already have houses getting houses in Mandela Park. Us Backyarders who are poor are ignored and harassed for asking to be beneficiaries in our own communities. The MEC and the councillor promised that in this next building phase the Backyarders will be given some houses as well.
The official agreement was that the Backyarders will get 50% of any housing project going forward.
This agreement came after we forced the minister to come and address the community and make a definite commitment to the Backyarders. After he reneged on giving Mandela Park Backyarders 23 houses, he has now been avoiding us for more than 18 months.
Yesterday morning we woke up in amazement seeing housing structures being erected in Mandela Park without the consultation of the community as MEC Madikizela promised in past meetings. We do suspect that the so-called leaders are up to their old corrupt tricks again.
We confronted the builders and instructed them to stop building until the community gets 50% of the houses in the development. When we finally spoke to our councillor, he told us to keep waiting. And we’ve been waiting and waiting and we are tired of waiting. We are tired of his empty promises.
Because we no longer trust the words of politicians, we are mobilising the community to come out in support today and stop the building of these houses in our area until we have our demands met in writing.
We won 5 houses last year after a long struggle with the housing department and local leadership. However, there are over 3,000 backyard dwellers in Mandela Park alone. Five houses is not enough as each year hundreds of new families move into backyards in our community.
As the poor of Mandela Park, we have resolved that no further building of houses will take place in our community until there is a plan for the Backyarders who have been waiting for houses since 1989. We are always peaceful in our protests. But we are prepared to conduct non-violent civil disobedience and get arrested again as long as our struggle is for the betterment of our lives and brings dignity, decent housing and safe living spaces to our people.
Contact Details:Nosipho: 0735878980 Nolukholo: 0783918168 Khaya: 0780241683 Luvo: 0732275734 Wendy: 0769775218