Housing Assembly bring together activists for its annual Political School


For a week in March this year (the 19th to the 24th), the Housing Assembly held its first annual political school in Salt River, Cape Town. The political school was attended by various organisations from all over the country, including Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State and the Western Cape.

Activists present at the political school were representing many organisations who are also organising around housing struggles, as well as organisations part of the broader social movements in South Africa. These include: Landless Peoples Movement, Abahlali baseFreedom Park,  Abahlali Pisco, Thembelihle Crisis Committee, Orlando Task Team, MST (a Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement), Right2Know campaign, and Housing Assembly branches of KwaZulu Natal.

Activists present were required to draw from their experiences regarding challenges they have faced living in different types of settlements. The types of settlements represented were what is typically found in working class residential areas; such as RDP houses, informal settlements, backyarders and lower class rentals.

The RDP commission noted common problems with RDP houses and came up with a list of demands from which a campaign could be constructed around. These included cracks in the structures, partitioning that are not built all the way to the roof, while others reported that their houses did not have partitioning at all. The impact on the occupants of these houses includes bad health in general, and a financial burden as these houses allegedly have a six month warranty. When this expires,  the constructor legally cannot be held accountable anymore, and neither does the municipality take responsibility. The commission found that tender recipients want to grow their own personal accounts using the tenders they have been awarded to build much-needed housing in poor and working class communities. These RDP houses are of low quality because spending on construction material is minimised as much as possible.

The informal settlements commission reported on problems such as lack of electricity, which often lead to illegal connections. These connections are normally unsafe and can result in the deaths of children who play around these live wires. When it rain, it floods and the belongings of the residents get damaged. The other major danger raised was that of fires that spread swiftly and result in deaths. These fires spread quickly because of the lack of space provided for housing, resulting in the informal settlement structures being built too close to one another. Backyarders and rentals had similar problems of expensive rent, little to no space for children to play, and being exploited by landlords.

An interesting discussion took place around the history of borders, challenges to building unity and xenophobia. Here, there was lively discussion regarding how borders have affected and shaped identity, discrimination and led to violence as well.  The question on xenophobia also informed the answer to who exactly qualifies for houses in the country. Participants agreed that they should fight for decent housing for all, and comrade Mike from Housing Assembly cautioned that going against ‘housing for all’ would allow capitalists to divide the working class.

Comrade Agusto from MST gave a presentation about the Brazilian favelas (working class housing), highlighting the racial discrimination that is prevalent in Brazil.

The event concluded with various resolutions, demands and methods that could be campaigned around to address matters which the school focused on, and highlight how they link to the struggle for decent housing for all.

Comrade Thembelani of the Housing Assembly brought out paticipants fighting spirit when he asked; “what is the purpose of our existence if we don’t claim what rightfully belongs to us?”

Previous Faulty pipes cause sinkholes in Khutsong
Next Activists occupy buildings in the city of Cape Town

12 Comments

  1. Title

    […]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Find Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

  2. 28/09/2018

    Google

    Here are some links to web pages that we link to for the reason that we feel they’re really worth visiting.

  3. 02/10/2018

    male masturbators

    […]just beneath, are numerous absolutely not associated web sites to ours, having said that, they may be surely really worth going over[…]

  4. 02/10/2018

    male sex toys

    […]below you will find the link to some websites that we think you must visit[…]

  5. Title

    […]just beneath, are several totally not related sites to ours, having said that, they’re surely worth going over[…]

  6. 14/11/2018

    Title

    […]very handful of sites that come about to be comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out[…]

  7. 15/11/2018

    Title

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated data, nevertheless actually really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 discover about Mid East has got a lot more problerms at the same time […]

  8. 15/11/2018

    Title

    […]Every when inside a whilst we select blogs that we study. Listed below are the latest web sites that we pick […]

  9. 15/11/2018

    Title

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I really like but don’t get a whole lot of link appreciate from[…]

  10. Title

    […]we came across a cool internet site that you simply could love. Take a appear when you want[…]

  11. Title

    […]Here is a good Blog You may Come across Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

  12. 16/11/2018

    Title

    […]one of our guests lately advised the following website[…]