19 August 2010
Yesterday evening at 18h00, backyard dwellers in Mandela Park held another meeting where we resolved to continue their civil disobedience campaign against the current housing development in our community. This comes after more the 100 desperate residents of Mandela Park went to the main construction site of the new RDP houses to stop contractor from resuming building. They were met by Mr. Makade, the Ward 97 SANCO chairperson, who has no constituent base in Mandela Park and who’s only power comes because of his friendship with the local ANC councillor. Makade tried to get building to resume but he was overwhelmed by the sheer number of backyarders who demanded the construction be suspended until the Human Settlements Department comes down to the people.
Backyarders also marched throughout Mandela Park to make sure all the secondary constructions sites also adhere to their demands. Backyarders were successful on all counts – construction has been suspended throughout the Mandela Park area.
Tomorrow, 19th of August, Backyarders will continue their civil disobedience campaign – the constructions sites will remain closed.
We demand that:
- 50% of all housing in Mandela Park go to the more than 3,000 backyard dwellers and other vulnerable residents in the area.
- The MEC for Housing negotiate directly with the residents of Mandela Park and not through the corrupt and undemocratic Housing Steering Committee or the now defunct SANCO.
- All Backyarders (including all vulnerable residents) should qualify for public housing whether this is free RDP housing or government subsidised housing. Just because some of us now have jobs and do not qualify for free RDP housing does not mean that we can afford the expensive bond houses in Mandela Park. All poor residents of Mandela Park deserve public housing!
We will stop at nothing to make sure that the Backyarders become the centre of the development process here in Mandela Park. The longer the MEC ignores us, the more means we will use to get what we deserve.
For more information, please contact the following backyard dwellers:Khaya at 0780241683 Asandiswa at 0822678118 Nosipho at 0735878980 Zukiswa at 0714811745 Loyiso at 0737662078