March against evictions in Wynberg, Alexandra
Thursday 22 May 2008 by Ahmed
Alexandra Vukuzenzele Crisis Committee marches in solidarity with the Wynberg Residents against forced evictions in Alexandra
More than 500 community members marched today to the Alexandra Region 7 housing department’s office in protest against the planned evictions on the 5th of May 2008 from Wynberg Councilor Place on 1st Avenue in Wynberg, Alexandra. The residents have delivered a memorandum to the housing department demanding that no evictions take place in the area.
The Wynberg Council residents were served notice to vacate a place they have been occupying since 1992 when there was unrest in the country. Most will remember the violence that took place in the country before the 1994 elections in black communities between Inkatha Freedom Party supporters and supporters of the African National Congress. Many of the residents were displaced from their homes as they feared being caught in the turmoil between hostel dwellers and township residents. Just like the violence on Khumalo Street in Thokoza displaced residents in the East Rand, many residents of River Park were also forced to evacuate their homes to find shelter in Council Place in Wynberg. They lost their homes in fear of political violence but they were never compensated for their loss.
Today the residents are faced with evictions into the streets of crime with the government not providing alternative, safe accommodation. The residents are demanding that the government must set up a tribunal on the River Park houses in order to have their homes restored or alternative accommodation in Alexandra be found. Next week’s threatened eviction will not only throw poor people out into the chilling clutches of a Joburg winter but will disregard their just claims to redress.
While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mandate may have closed, pervasive poverty in South Africa is irreconcilable with the extravagant wealth being earned by an elite few and the country’s Bill of Rights. We cannot consider an ordinary working class citizen equal to Patrice Motsepe if he has to work 400 years to earn what the billionaire earns in a month. The celebration of Freedom Day cannot forget the gross un-freedoms that people endure daily. 14 years into democracy and many South Africans are still living the injustices of the past - THE GHOST OF APARTHEID STILL HAUNTS THE RAINBOW NATION.
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