Call for Alternative Housing for Eviction Victims

Amnesty International has accused Zimbabwe's unity government of failing to provide for victims of a mass eviction blitz five years ago that left 700 000 people destitute.

Amnesty and the Coalition of Forced Evictions, made up of Zimbabwean groups, call on that country’s government to provide alternative housing or compensation to people left homeless and jobless by Operation Murambatsvina (Drive Out Filth).

Planact Comments on the 2010/11 Budget

The Minister’s speech comes with no surprises as we are all aware of the global economic crisis that did not spare South Africa, resulting in a recession. However, the Minister can only do what can be done, especially when we look at the growing budget deficit which is envisaged to continue growing in the next 3 years, hitting the R1.3 trillion mark before it slows down. It is a well balanced budget that needs to be commended.

Government to Tackle Housing Shortage – Zuma

Government plans to set up a guarantee fund of R1 billion to incentivise the private banking and housing sector to develop new products to meet the country’s housing demand.

President Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation address in Parliament, said a key new initiative will be to accommodate people whose salaries are too high to get government subsidies, but who earn too little to qualify for a normal bank mortgage.

Sexwale Lambast Residents Over Housing

Human Settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale, lashed out at residents of Thokoza hostel accusing them of calling or SMSing their cousins and uncles in rural areas to come to urban areas to queue for houses.

Sexwale, who accused unemployed residents of having the potential of becoming  sick in the head when embarking on service-delivery protests, says the shortage of low-cost government houses is worsened by migration to urban areas.

Emergency Effort Needed to Solve Western Cape Housing Crisis

It is good news that Tokyo Sexwale and Helen Zille have decided to bury the hatchet on the petty squabbling between the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) (largely, let it be said, initiated by the ANC) over the N2 Gateway project and land allocation in the province.

The spat has hampered housing delivery in the province. We are now told “the three spheres of government are to sit around one table to decide on the future of the project.” (‘Sexwale, Zille and city to decide on N2 Gateway’, August 10).

Sexwale Visits Diepsloot

Human Settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale, has visited the Diepsloot informal settlement, where he stood in a pool of sewage when addressing residents.

Sexwale noted that, “What is at issue here is that people are living in inhuman conditions.” He described his visit to the informal settlement as “a genuine attempt to hear the problems of the people”.

We are standing on human waste. We are in Diepsloot. This is where we start our journey. We are starting a meaningful conversation with the people,” explained Sexwale.

Victory for Homeless on the Cape Flats

Ashraf Cassiem and 139 families who have set up home under the stars along Symphony Way in wind-swept Delft on the Cape Flats have celebrated a small victory last week after being given a reprieve in their fight against eviction.

Cassiem, who is chairperson of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, points out that, “We'll gladly move to houses that are safe, clean and adequate to our families' needs."

Slums Act Challenged in the ConCourt

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement, a NGO working towards improving the living conditions of shack dwellers, is challenging the KwaZulu-Natal’s Slums Act in the Constitutional Court.

Abahlali baseMjondolo spokesperson, Mnikelo Ndabankulu, points out that, “The Act was imposed by the KwaZulu-Natal department of housing. This act was imposed against the will of the poor who the government is meant to serve. It is a clear attack on the poor."

Gauteng Housing to Eradicate Informal Settlements

Gauteng Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane, says her department will eradicate all informal settlements in the province by 2014.

"So far, 12 informal settlements have been eradicated. A further 24 informal settlements are in the process of being eradicated... This will bring the provincial total of eradicated informal settlements to 36 in 2009", says Mokonyane.

"We are, therefore, confident that our plan to eradicate informal settlements by 2014 is moving forward and more will be done to speed up delivery in remaining areas."


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