The APF Johannesburg Region Housing March

Friday 14 December 2007

The APF Johannesburg Region Housing March

The APF Joburg Region will be marching on the 02 June 2007 to the Premier Mbazima Shilowa’s Office and to the Housing Department to deliver affiliates or community memorandums regarding the state of housing in Gauteng. The comrades will assemble at the Bayers Naude Library Gardens at 09h00 and commence at 10h30 to the targeted officials. This is after an APF housing March in September 2006 to the housing department and once again there was no response to the community demands regarding issues of housing for all in the country. As a follow up to the March in September, different community struggles ensured regarding the lack of basic housing in the country and different APF affiliates took it up to themselves that they mobilise in their own communities to demonstrate their dissatisfaction in the streets. After a spate of spontaneous housing protest or marches that have taken place in the past months, many communities outside the APF (Lens South) have taken up the struggle against the failure basic delivery inspired by the struggles in Khutsong, Wynberg, Golden Highway Community Residents (Freedom Park), Marlboro, Protea Glen and Orange Farm. The GOLCOM & Homemakers resident in Soweto have also marched to their local municipality offices to deliver a memorandum highlighting the issue of service delivery and being against evictions. But it is clear that the ANC lead government is pre-occupied with the 2010 World Cup Project rather than listening to the poor and spending more money in projects that will not benefit the majority of the poor people in the country. We have seen with the so called “new low-cost housing scheme” between Pam Golding and the government that will revolutionise housing in Johannesburg. This is where R250million development, in upmarket Fairland, in northern Johannesburg, is a product of collaboration between the government and private sector. Felapeng is called a ‘ground-breaking residential property project’ that seeks to make sure that it accommodates people across different classes. The project will ultimately see people renting, at low-cost (about R1500 a month), local government-owned units interspersed and integrated with luxury homes in the R1,5 million- plus bracket. This “inclusionary” housing development will consist of 187 dwellings, built on 9,3ha of Johannesburg Metro Council- owned land known to the locals as the “Jerusalem site”. Thirty percent of the estate, about 56 homes, will be developed as social housing units and sold back to the council for its Johannesburg Social Housing Company to rent to tenant families. The rest will be marketed by Pam Golding Properties. These are the sort of projects that are hailed as breakthrough in addressing the backlog in housing in the country but the fundamental question is that the vision is narrow and it is exclusive to the majority of poor people who are unemployed living below the poverty line. The issue of housing backlog is a national crisis that needs to be addressed in a collective project for all different classes in the country. For more information contact Silumko Radebe APF organiser @ 072 1737 268 or 011 339 4121


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