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The Struggle at Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng

category southern africa | community struggles | opinion / analysis author Saturday January 04, 2014 19:50author by Siyabulela Hulu - Tokologo African Anarchist Collectiveauthor email tokologo.aac at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

In September 2002, residents of Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng faced evictions by the so-called new and private owners. They resisted and won. But since then, the hostel has been abandoned to its fate. Today the struggle for secure tenure, decent conditions and control continues.

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The hostel was previously owned by the state steel company ISCOR: this is now known as Mittal Steel after its wholesale privatisation in the late 1980s. The hostel residents were mostly former workers; they have refused to move. Now, several years on, it still remains unclear who really owns the hostel.

In September 2002, over 6000 residents were forcibly evicted by armed police and Wozani Security (commonly known as the “Red Ants”). People’s belongings were dumped into the streets. Residents were given no alternative shelter on one of the coldest days of the year.

A private company, Vilva Investment Trading Twenty Company Pty Ltd initiated the eviction in which several residents were shot and injured. This company was, according to the residents, partially owned by the three local African National Congress (ANC) councillors.

However, the residents successfully managed to resist the eviction. They used direct action, and they won. Residents moved back in.

But since the resistance, the Kwa-Masisa hostel has effectively been left to rot. Mittal Steel, Vilva and the local ANC government all say that they are no longer responsible for the hostel.

As a result, the hostel dwellers have been living under horrendous conditions for many years now. Facilities have crumbled, pipes leak, dirt mounts up … Is the aim to force people out slowly?

A “people’s inspection” took place on 3 September 2008, and was aimed at highlighting and exposing the horrendous living conditions of the Kwa-Masisa dwellers.

Five years later, there has been no improvement.

Recently, there have been plans by the council to “renovate” the hostel. But these plans start with a round of evictions to temporary accommodation. It is feared that the hostel will be upgraded, but no one will be allowed back without paying rents. The residents cannot pay: this means more evictions will be permanent.

It is unacceptable for any human being to be living under such conditions: the ANC-run municipality promises “a better life for all,” but the residents are still waiting.

And the residents are determined to fight against any “renovations” that will harm them: it is the ordinary people who must control the situation.

Related Link: http://zabalaza.net/2014/01/04/the-struggle-at-kwa-masi...keng/
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Mon 22 Dec, 16:15

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imageLandless militants and shack-dwellers under attack in Soweto May 24 ZACF 2 comments

The following is an urgent communication issued in solidarity with the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) and other shack-dwellers of Protea South, Soweto. It is based on information obtained by telephonic and face-to-face conversations held with LPM members following violent attacks against them last night. There still seems to be confusion, however, and details are sketchy. Updates on the situation will be made available as and when they are received, as will be any factual corrections.
[Français]

textCPFs: Eyes and Fists of State Oppression Mar 11 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) is angered by the killing of a second working class activist youth by the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in Sebokeng in less than a year.

In July of last year Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) activist Mathafeni Majobe was killed by members of the CPF after partaking in a service delivery protest in Sebokeng. This time the victim was Teboho “Diventsha” Tsotetsi, who was stabbed to death in front of his parents on Wednesday 4 March by members of the CPF for refusing to withdraw charges he had laid against those same CPF patrollers, who had severely beaten him and stolen his cell phone and wallet the previous Friday.

textZACF Statement of Solidarity with Sebokeng Community Struggle Aug 15 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation 3 comments

On Tuesday morning, 14th of August, over 1000 community members from Sebokeng's "informal settlement" attempted to blockade the Golden Highway between Sebokeng and Johannesburg in protest at the ANC government's inadequate service delivery since its election in 1994.

The police arrived in numbers and fired randomly at the community members, allegedly with live ammunition, seriously injuring 6 people and injuring others, including small children.

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