Following in the footsteps of other African governments including most recently Mugabe’s, the local government of Johannesburg has ordered the eviction of thousands of people. COHRE (Center for Housing Rights and Evictions) has accused the government of implementing apartheid laws to forcefully evict some 25,000 people to clear land for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The local government-ordered evictions in Johannesburg are aimed at
clearing an estimated 235 "bad" buildings viewed as hotbeds of
degeneration and crime. According to the Johannesburg Inner City
Regeneration Strategy, eliminating such socio-economic sinkholes will
increase property values, raise private-sector investment and help to
transform Johannesburg into a world-class African city.
and the thousands and thousands of poor and dispossessed what happens to them in this great scheme? The very term "socio-economic sink holes" is offensive and an insult to the soon to be homeless. Both the use of that term and the presence of inhuman housing conditions are reflections of the inequalities that persist in post-apartheid South Africa and the failure of the government to adhere to basic human rights. If as the government claims the buildings are a health and safety risks then why not demolish them and build proper housing and sanitation for the residents rather than evict them onto the streets.
Indy Media South Africa have produced a 35 minute video about recent housing struggles in the city that is available for download. "It is produced in order to give activists from elsewhere insight into the current struggles in Cape Town" and is worth watching.