||Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
|Address: 20 Waratan Street High Places Eerste River
City: Cape Town
Country: South Africa
Phone Number: 021-904-0084
The Anti-Eviction Campaign offices in Taflesig-Picture by Saranel Benjamin.
With the aim of fighting evictions, water cut-offs, poor health services, for free electricity and against police brutality, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) was formed in Cape Town in November 2000.
The AEC is currently an umbrella body for over 15 community organizations, crisis committees, and concerned residents movements who have come together to organise and demand their rights to basic services. The organisations that make up the AEC, include:
Athlone Concerned Civic Residents Association
Youth for Work
Waterless Community of Fisantekraal
Mandela Park Action Youth Housing Committee
Squatter Families of Faure Road
Valhalla Park United Civic Front
Tafelsig Anti-Eviction Campaign
KTC Concerned Residents Movement
Guguletu Anti-Privatisation Forum
Strand Concerned Group
Delft Concerned Residents Movement
Mothers for Services
Tafelsig Concerned Parents
Tambo Square Concerned Residents Movement
Lavender Hill Anti-Eviction Campaign
Mfuleni Anti-Eviction Campaign
AEC Current Activities
The AEC is fighting evictions and water and electricity cut-offs on many different levels. Its current activities range from direct action demonstrations against evictions and cut-offs, to legal actions that challenge the constitutionality of evictions, to mass mobilisation and popular education initiatives, to creative organisation and capacity building programs. Some of its current activities are as follows:
Aside from organising mass marches and demonstrations against evictions, the AEC directly challenges evictions as they are taking place. The AEC protects families from being evicted primarily by staging sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at turning away those forces that come to evict families. For those families who have already been evicted, the AEC often responds by moving them and their belongings back into their homes. Should these tactics prove unsuccessful in waving off evictions, and in those instances where the government is determined to move forward with evictions, the AEC has at times responded by rendering the contested property unlivable, saying ¤if the people cannot have the land, then no one will.
The AEC's Legal Aid Team, with the support of the Legal Aid Clinic and Women's Legal Centre at the University of the Western Cape, is in the process of legally challenging the constitutionality of evictions. In response to the AEC's marches, demonstrations, memorandums, legal challenges, press statements, etc, the Provincial government has taken up a commission to look into the ╬legality of evictions'. Unfortunately, even after constant pressure form the AEC, government has yet to make the finding of this commission public. Currently, the AEC in continuing both with its impending court cases and with its pressure on the government to publicise the commission's report.
Mass Mobilisation and Popular Education
The AEC is currently involved in a wide spread mobilisation campaign to get communities from all around the Western Cape involved with the AEC. Via mass public meetings and more targeted activists workshops, the AEC has engaged in popular education initiatives around the issues of evictions, and water and electricity cut-offs. Through it's popular education activities, the AEC works to make the linkages between people's concrete experiences with evictions and cut-offs, and the government's macro economic strategy GEAR and its privatisation policies. By mobilising the communities around these issues, the AEC hopes to build a mass political base from which to challenge evictions, one that the government will be forced to listen to and think about before continuing with its eviction policies.
Organisation Capacity Building
The AEC is currently embarking on various activities geared toward building the strength and capacity of the Campaign. In an effort to develop the capacity of its Research Unit, the AEC is taking part in a research training course being offered by the University of Durban Centre for Civil Society. The skills learned in this course will be used not only to build the skills of its members, but also to conduct research on the socio-economic affects of evictions and water and electricity cut-offs. This research will be used not only to give empirical evidence to the Campaign's counter arguments against GEAR and privatisation, but the research will also be used to take the Campaign forward in terms of developing concrete alternatives to such policies.
The Campaign is also working to strengthen the capacity of its Legal Aid Team by encouraging its members to take part in free paralegal training courses being offered at the UWC. The skills learned in these courses will be used not only to help community members in dealing with legal documents and procedures relating to evictions and cut-offs, but also to facilitate the strength and number of the legal challenges against evictions.
On The Web
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