Solidarity: Mass Eviction Threatened in Lenasia, Johannesburg

Pre-Cast Landless People’s Movement Press Statement
Saturday, 28 August 2010

On Friday last week a court order was delivered to the residents of the Pre-Cast shack settlement in Lenasia, Johannesburg. The court order comes from the owner of the land and demands that the state must pay him an immediate rental of R850 per month per shack and then either buy the land from him for R 11 413 800 or evict us all and return the land to him. The landowner is Mr. Horilel Ajodha.Some families have been here for as long as thirty years, others for as long as twenty years. We are working here and schooling here. Our lives are here.

In June last year the Municipality said that the settlement was expanding and they started to evict the newcomers. The demolished ten shacks and left the people homeless in the middle of a very cold winter. These evictions were illegal and unconstitutional.

Now they say that their plan for us is forced removal to Doornkop which is one of the many human dumping grounds outside of the cities. We cannot accept this. We know that in every forced removal many people are left homeless and we also cannot accept being made homeless. We have to protect the community. We will resist any attempt to evict us in the courts and with mass action.

Our demand has always been that this settlement must be upgraded where it is and not destroyed. The government says that it is its policy to upgrade and not to continue with forced removals. Therefore it is clear that on this point we are demanding that the government sticks to its own policy.

We are, together with our comrades in other branches in the Landless People’s Movement, and together with all our comrades in the Poor People’s Alliances, demanding that the social value of land must be put before its commercial value. People must come before profit. This is the only way to defend the right to the cities for the poor.

We have been coming far with our struggle for the provision of services and the in situ upgrade our settlement. We recently had a march on the local councillor and we have been pushing the government to buy the land that we have been squatting on for us. We will, together with our comrades, continue to take our struggle forward until we are able to use the weapon of mass struggle to rediscipline the parliamentarians.

For more information please contact:

Musa Mabaso: 072 569 8509
Winnie Mathonsi: 073 659 7442

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