We, the ZACF, support wholeheartedly the APF and Kliptown residents demands (see statement below) and their action to occupy houses which by right should be theirs. It is ironic that Kliptown, being the site where the Freedom Charter (1955) was collectively developed, is the very place where these rights are being denied, despite the fact that the ANC still claims to support and struggle for the principles of the Freedom Charter in its so called National Democratic Revolution. Perhaps we should remind them that the Freedom Charter, available on their website, states:
…There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!
All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security; Unused housing space to be made available to the people; Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry.
– Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front,
11 November 2008
Kliptown Concerned Residents Press Statement
4th April 2008
Occupation of Empty Houses in the Face of Continued Housing
and Basic Service Misery
The residents of Kliptown (Soweto) under the banner of the Kliptown Concerned Residents are currently occupying the empty Pimville golf course townhouses. This decision was taken earlier in a mass meeting at the community center, where residents voiced their anger over poor service delivery and housing. The hundred year old informal settlement has been consistently ignored by the African National Congress government since it took power in 1994. Although Kliptown residents have undertaken many actions to highlight their plight, the government has chosen to play political games with the poor residents.
Mayor Masondo announced in a public speech earlier this year that the government has set aside R781 million for housing development in the area. Yet, not a single brick has been laid to kick- start the building of houses for Kliptown residents. The community then suggested that the money can be used to complete the golf course housing development and residents be allocated the empty houses. Not surprisingly, the government did not agree with this suggestion because of the greed for profit by outfits like the Johannesburg Housing Company (JOSHCO) and the Provincial housing department.
It was made clear to Kliptown residents that the golf course houses will be allocated to those who are able to pay high rental tariffs. Land shortage has been a constant excuse used by the government to rationalize the relocation of Kliptown residents to Doornkop housing project yet land is found and houses made available to those who are able to pay.
Gauteng MMC of housing, Strike Ralekgoma made a public announcement last July at the Kliptown community center that the golf course houses would be allocated to the Kliptown residents. When residents of Orange Farm took to the streets a month back protesting over service delivery, the new Premier, Paul ‘mathousand’ Mashatile, went to the residents and promised quick delivery. Again the ANC & Mashatile promised the residents of Khutsong that they will be reincorporated into Gauteng after continuous rolling mass action by the community. None of these promises have come to pass.
The residents of Kliptown have been forgotten by the ANC government which only comes to opportunistically celebrate the Freedom Charter or preen at Madiba’s birthday bash. Just last week there were water disconnections and this, in a community where the majority still use the bucket system. It is simply outrageous. Kliptown residents will continue to engage in direct action/protest until their voices are heard and government acts.
Quality Basic Services and Housing for all!
For further details please contact Silumko Radebe (APF National Organiser) @ 072 1737 268 or 011 333 8334 or Sipho Jantjie of Kliptown Concerned Residents @ 073 896 1353 or Sello Tladi @ 083 859 1654
Anti Privatisation Forum
123 Pritchard Street (cnr Mooi)
6th floor Vogas House, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 333-8334 Fax: (011) 333-8365