Emeute à Hangberg (Cape Town) – septembre 2010

Police demolish shacks in Cape Town, clashes erupt


21 09 2010

JOHANNESBURG — People threw rocks and set fires, and police fired live ammunition and rubber bullets Tuesday during an effort to clear shacks from a Cape Town nature reserve, highlighting tensions over housing shortages in South Africa.

Police spokeswoman Tanya Lesch said 15 police officers and three civilians were injured in the standoff. The clashes left a corner of one of Cape Town’s most scenic areas, beneath upscale Hout Bay’s Sentinel Mountain, littered with rocks and debris.

City spokeswoman Kylie Hatton said 29 unoccupied shacks were cleared from a part of the reserve that is supposed to be a cordon to protect populated areas from brush fires.

The city wants to clear 54 another shacks that are home to as many as 200 people, but needs a court order to destroy occupied shacks, Hatton said. Hatton said the city wants to provide better housing for the shack dwellers, but that discussions with residents have stalled.

Nearly 3 million homes have been built since apartheid ended in 1994, but Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale has said another 2.1 million homes are needed.

In Johannesburg on Tuesday, experts previewed a form of low-cost housing that they described as an alternative to the drab, cheap and tiny houses that South Africa’s government has been providing the poor.

Officials gave tours of a two-story structure that they said took only 11 days to build. Later, they plan to move the building to a squatter camp in southern Johannesburg to serve as a community center.

Patrick Magebhula, president of the Federation of the Urban Poor — FEDUP — said he did not have an estimate of how much the community center cost to build.

Jackie Dugard, executive director of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa, said poor residents should have more say in what kind of housing they get, and where it is built.

« The government should plan with the people, not for them, » Dugard said. « The government will decide to build … a house in the middle of nowhere, but that’s not what the people want. »

Dozens arrested in Hout Bay violence


Sep 21 2010

Sixty-two people were arrested after 18 people were injured in a clash between metro police and civilians in Hout Bay on Tuesday morning, Western Cape police said.

Of those injured, 15 were metro police officers and three were civilians, said Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch.

Violence broke out when community members clashed with metro police as the City of Cape Town dismantled illegal structures in the area on Tuesday morning.

The city’s land-invasion unit was in Hangberg at 6.30am to remove structures built in the firebreak near Hangklip, which was a significant fire danger to local residents, the city’s spokesperson, Kylie Hatton, said.

« Community members who were unhappy with the dismantling of the shacks, built between Hangberg and the Sentinel Mountain, started throwing stones at the city’s officials and law enforcement officers, hurting 15 metro police officers. »

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Twenty-nine unoccupied illegal structures were demolished.

Hatton said the city would need a court interdict to remove occupied structures in the area. It planned to apply for the court order to remove all illegal structures in the area.

« The structures are built on the slopes of the Sentinel, a world heritage site. People just started building illegally here and the area is not safe for them as it is a firebreak. »

The situation had calmed down at 4pm but police continued to monitor the area, said Lesch.

Affrontements dans un bidonville d’Afrique du Sud


21 septembre 2010

JOHANNESBOURG, Afrique du Sud – Des affrontements violents ont éclaté mardi en Afrique du Sud, quand des policiers ont tenté de démanteler un bidonville qui avait vu le jour dans une réserve faunique près de Cape Town.

Les policiers ont tiré des balles pendant que les habitants du bidonville répliquaient avec des pierres et allumaient des incendies.

Une porte-parole de la police a rapporté que 15 policiers et trois civils ont été blessés lors des violences.

Une représentante de la ville, Kylie Hatton, a quant à elle révélé que 29 cabanes inhabitées ont été démolies dans un secteur de la réserve qui doit protéger les zones peuplées des feux de brousse.

La ville veut maintenant démanteler 54 autres cabanes habitées par quelque 200 personnes, mais elle devra tout d’abord recevoir la permission du tribunal. Mme Hatton indique que la ville veut offrir de meilleurs logements aux squatteurs, mais que les discussions sont au point mort.

Quelque 3 millions de maisons ont été construites depuis la fin de l’apartheid en 1994, mais le ministre de l’Habitation Tokyo Sexwale affirme qu’il en faudrait 2,1 millions de plus.

Riot in Hangberg



We were woken up this morning by the whistling of flares darting through the bay and the shouting of locals. I first thought it had to do with the matriculants striking as there is a school on the corner of the only entry way into the heights.

We proceed to watch, binoculars and camera on hand.  First the locals run down the slopes screaming abuse at the police and throwing stones, thereby gaining control of the fourway stop as the police back off down the hill, then the police take their turn advancing up towards them firing rubber bullets behind the protection of their armoured vehicles.

It was like watching the ebb and flow of a very aggressive tide.

The protest quickly escalated into a fully fledged riot. Rubber bullets, teargas, petrol bombs and even handguns could

Dozens injured in riots on Cape Town mountain


Sep 21, 2010,

Cape Town – Dozens of people were injured and 62 arrested in clashes Tuesday been thousands of Cape Town residents and police who demolished shacks on the slopes of the city’s Sentinel mountain.

The riots broke out in the early morning when the city’s land invasion unit arrived to dismantle new shacks erected near a firebreak on the mountain.

The Sentinel is part of the Table Mountain National Park, which is itself part of the Cape Floristic Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After residents chased away the eviction teams, police arrived on the scene.

But the police were also overrun at one point by thousands of residents of the Hangberg community, who rained sticks, stones and petrol bombs down on them in anger over what they called the city’s heavy-handed approach.

The city authorities accuses residents of putting the safety of surrounding communities in danger by erecting shacks near a firebreak in an area that is prone to wildfires.

Police said 18 people, including 15 police, were injured in the clashes, in which police fired on the protestors with rubber bullets.

Witnesses put the total number of injured at closer to 40.

One policeman was shot and a journalist shot in the leg with a rubber bullet.

Twenty-nine unoccupied shacks were demolished.

A shortage of public housing causes frequent riots in South Africa, where millions of people still live in tin-and-wood shacks.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 21 septembre 2010.

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