Giving land to Philippi residents a first step to redress
The absence of adequate municipal services means that a population the size of Knysna has been left substantially to its own devices, write Dennis Webster and Edward Molopi
It is a Friday afternoon and dark pillars of smoke are rising from a small stretch of wetland over the messy construction of MyCiti bus lanes along Stock Road in Philippi, where there is an expanse of formal housing, backyard shacks and compact informal settlements. Xolani Tyanda and other residents of one of these informal settlements in the area known as Marikana that occupy about 40ha of Philippi are burning the rubbish that has accumulated around their homes during the week. Like many other informal settlement residents in Cape Town and SA, Tyanda has lived under constant threat of eviction and, on numerous occasions, has resisted forced removal from his home. His struggle is not over. The owners of the land on which the Marikana community live have applied to the High Court in Cape Town to have the residents evicted. Evictions of poor people in Cape Town continue apace. According to researchers at Ndifuna Ukwazi, however, the state is selling public land that could be used to h...