South African squatters' homes razed: Homeless Peoples Federation

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:15:05 -0700 (PDT)


I invite "comments and context" on the ANC Briefing below, especially from
South Africans on HPN list.

Can you tell us about "Peoples Dialogue" and "Homeless Peoples Federation"?

What might homeless people organizing in other places learn from the
history and track records of these groups?

http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/briefing/nw19990426/63.html
FWD  African National Congress Daily News Briefing - 26 Apr 1999

SQUATTERS - DURBAN

DEMOLITION OF HOUSES IN SQUATTER CAMP IN KZN CRITICISED

    The demolition of four houses in an informal settlement in
Durban this week undermined the developing partnership between
homeless peoples' groups and government, a Peoples Dialogue
spokesman said in a statement on Friday.

According to Diana Mitlin of Peoples Dialogue, three houses
were demolished on Tuesday, and another was demolished on Friday.

The Tuesday demolitions, which were performed without an
eviction order, were reportedly ordered by ANC councillor Florence
Mkhize, Mitlin said.

Peoples Dialogue, a non-governmental organisation working in
partnership with the SA Homeless Peoples Federation, approached the
Durban Metropolitan Council about the Tuesday demolitions.

The council distanced itself from the action, fingering the
Southern Central Local Council.

The SCL council, in collaboration with the metropolitan police,
then demolished the fourth house on Friday.

Mitlin said the demolitions were acts of aggression which
proved that politicians and officials at local level were not as
committed to fighting homelessness as certain ministers.

She said the houses were saved for and built by the local
savings scheme of the Homeless Peoples Federation, in partnership
with Land Affairs minister Derek Hanekom.

Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, minister of housing, had also
committed herself to the Peoples Housing Process, of which the
federation was a crucial player, Mitlin said.

END FORWARD




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