After mass demolitions land occupiers return to Wallacedene

5 days 14 hours ago
Family that was lawfully living on the land, but pushed out by occupiers, now lives in an Open Kadett.

By Vincent Lali

Photo of a woman and a demolished shack
Nthuseng Mzaci, centre, said she frantically moved her cupboard, TV and dishes when she saw officials arrive. “I quickly took my belongings out before they damage them as they did the last time they came here,” she said. Photo: Vincent Lali

After the City demolished as many as 600 shacks in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, early last week, by Saturday the land was once again crowded with shacks. The City proceeded again to demolish shacks this week.

Land occupier Bukiwe Bhatyo said, “Law enforcement can shoot me and destroy my building materials, but I will build my shack again and stay here.”

Nthuseng Mzaci said the constant demolitions have affected her two children’s mental health. “My kids [in grade one and five] quickly wake up at night when they hear someone hit a corrugated iron zinc … thinking that the officials are destroying their home,” she said.

Nokulunga Koli quickly dismantled her own shack so that her building material would not get damaged.

Ntombovuyo Jola said she begged officials and started crying. They left her shack alone. She has two young children.

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Residents expelled from Blikkiesdorp amidst racial tensions

5 days 14 hours ago
Over 20 people have sought shelter in the Methodist Church in central Cape Town

By Mary-Anne Gontsana and Ashraf Hendricks

Photo of mother and child in church
Washiela Baeers cleans her six-month-old son Waseem. Baeers has been a resident of Blikkiesdorp for ten years. She is now staying in the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town so that “I can sleep tonight”. Photos: Ashraf Hendricks

Fearing for their lives, at least 22 people have moved from Blikkiesdorp and into the Central Methodist Mission Church in central Cape Town. This includes eight children, the youngest being six months old. Where they go to from here is uncertain.

Eight families were forced to vacate their structures in Blikkiesdorp on Wednesday evening, following threats made to them by other residents. The old Blikkiesdorp Joint Committee (BJC) members claim that there is an ongoing power struggle between black and coloured residents.

The families say they have received numerous threats from members of the newly formed BJC. One threat is that their structures would be burnt down with them inside. This was the push that has got them to leave Blikkiesdorp.

GroundUp watched as residents scrambled trying to find transport and spaces for the safekeeping of their belongings they could not take with. Residents could be seen helping each other move refrigerators and clothes.

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Housing Shortage Sends Rwanda Scouting for $300m Financing

6 days 19 hours ago

By Kabona Esiara

Rwanda is seeking Rwf264 billion ($300 million) from international lenders in the coming months to address the shortage of housing on the market.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the World Bank Board is expected to approve a $150 million long-term credit line to finance Rwanda's housing needs on September 27, while the government expects an additional $150 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and India Housing Bank.

"The IFC is leading the credit mobilisation process," said Claver Gatete Infrastructure Minister, adding that government is also making land available and introduced a 30 per cent tax rebate for developers of high density housing units.



40 Percent of Namibians Live in Shacks

6 days 19 hours ago

According to the latest updated statistics, there are 308 informal settlements in Namibia with a staggering 228 000 shacks accommodating about 995 000 people in urban areas.

This was revealed by Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia's national facilitator Edith Mbanga, who says this means close to 40 percent of the Namibia population are now living in shacks in urban areas, predominantly in Windhoek.

Mbanga made the revelations this week during the second national land conference while delivering a presentation on 'Land for the Urban Poor'.



Affordable Urban Housing Project Launched in Kimisagara

6 days 19 hours ago

By Diane Mushimiyimana

Eight families that lived in high risk zone have been given abode in a newly built housing block located in Nyakabingo Village of Kimisagara sector in Nyarugenge District.

This is part of the move to get residents out of harm's way without necessarily having to move them from their land.

The project dubbed 8in1 Affordable Housing Demonstration Block was designed and implemented by Skat Consulting Ltd in partnership with Rwanda Housing Authority.



Wallacedene shack dwellers close down housing project

6 days 20 hours ago
City of Cape Town says project should not target one specific community only

By Vincent Lali

Photo of protesters
Wallacedene residents are demanding to be prioritised for a housing project. Photo: Vincent Lali

Dozens of angry shack dwellers who live in a Temporary Relocation Area (TRA) in Wallacedene marched to Kraaifontein police station to deliver a memorandum of demands to the City of Cape Town on Monday. Community leader Thembelani Mzola handed over a memorandum to Acting Subcouncil Two Manager Amelia van Rhyn. Marchers toyi-toyied and held placards that read: “We want houses” and “We want answers today or no Maroela Project”.

According to Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, the Maroela housing project is a breaking new ground (BNG) state-subsidised housing project for beneficiaries registered on the City’s housing database.

But the protesters want the Maroela project exclusively for residents of TRA informal settlement.

Herron said about 20% of the houses will be allocated to people from other areas who have been on the City’s housing database the longest. “The Maroela Housing project is not intended to benefit one specific community or group. Instead, the purpose of this project is to accommodate as many beneficiaries as possible who have been registered on the City’s housing database.”

Construction on the Maroela housing project started on 27 September but was forced to stop on 1 October by the shack dwellers.

“If the City ignores our demand, we will shut down the project for good,” said Mzola.

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Accra's informal settlements are easing the city's urban housing crisis

1 week 3 days ago
Accra's sprawling slums. Nataly Reinch/Shutterstock

Informal settlements continue to remain a significant component of many cities in the developing world. UN Habitat describes them as lacking security of tenure, not having durable housing and short of basic services. Globally, almost one billion people are hosted in informal settlements. This is expected to increase to 1.5 billion by 2020.

In sub-Sharan Africa, about 60% of all urban residents reside in slums and their level of deprivation is considered to be comparatively severe. In view of the recent urbanisation trends on the continent, much of the projected urban population growth is expected to be absorbed by slums.

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1 hour 38 minutes ago
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