One of the more controversial plans put forward by the Department of Housing has been the idea to build low cost housing alongside or in more expensive housing areas. Of course the greatest outcry to the plan came from existing (white) property owners and (white) property developers. In Durban however it seems that the outcry has turned to into something more physical:
...angry residents … demolished a matchbox council house being built in the area’s affluent section…
Now two people have been arrested and are due to appear in court on charges of malicious damage to property.
The house, which was at roof level when it was destroyed, was part of an eThekwini Municipality project to build low-cost housing in Ward 97…
Existing property owners were vocal about their opposition to further construction of low cost housing:
We spoke to the owner, a guy from Umhlanga, and asked him, ‘Do you think what you are building will fit in here? Would you be happy if we came to your suburb and started building cheap houses…
Why can’t they build these houses across the road from here, which is an area demarcated for low-cost housing?
We have invested in our homes and you can’t just come here and do as you please. What will the banks (who have financed these houses) say about this? We are prepared to go to the High Court to fight this if we have to.
That’s pretty harsh words and the destruction of the constructed house shows they’re willing to act on them.
Of course if I had linked to the article reporting on this earlier you would have known that the residents who did the demolition were in fact black.
Which just goes to show, NIMBYism crosses all colour lines.
Two quick news articles from KZN, both not so good.
NADECO, the IFP slinter offshoot party, seems to be pulling a PAC as it spirals down in flames. When NADECO started there was quite a bit of coverage in the media about how much damage they would do to the already wounded IFP. Well I guess the IFP can sleep a bit easier tonight what with various NADECO leaders calling each other a “bunch of clowns”.In somewhat more distressing news new research seems to indicate that the level of HIV infection in KZN is “unbelievable”.
Professor Gita Ramjee, of the Medical Research Council in Durban, said that in one area of the South Coast the HIV prevalence level in women was as high at 70 percent, while in the Embo area near Botha’s Hill researchers found a prevalence level of more than 66 percent.
Well so much for garlic, lemons and beetroot.
Well, not really. But if you consider that COSATU, the country’s largest trade union, don’t have enough to do that they can picket the KwaZulu-Natal offices of the NPA to try and force a spokesman to resign (Not the director, the spokesman!!) then I guess then there isn’t much else for them to achieve for the workers of SA. Right?
The Mail & Guardian has now released a list of Zuma’s key backers and it would seem that all of them are KwaZulu-Natal businessmen and politicians. Their main motive for supporting him seems to be to purely to have a Zulu as head of the country, something that is reinforced by Zulu King Goodwil Zwelethini and IFP leader Mongesuthu Buthelezi implicitly supporting Zuma as well.
One thing that has always puzzled me about Zuma’s popular campaign is the support that he has received from COSATU and the SACP despite Zuma never coming across as an ardent socialist sympathiser in his time in government. With this list coming out it seems their entire motivation is purely to get someone, anyone, who could replace a successor from the more business friendly camp in the ANC, which again is wierd considering the business connections Zuma has in that published list.
And then the headline story:
ANC: KZN name change not a priority
The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal said that accelerating development and service delivery is a greater priority that changing the name of the province.
Welcome to OR Tambo airport
When the world’s soccer fans descend on South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, most of them will disembark at OR Tambo International airport, as Johannesburg International airport will soon be known.
What in tarnation is going in KZN local politics?
The new Speaker of the Umtshezi (Estcourt) Council, Bhekithemba Dlamini, made a brief appearance in the Durban magistrate’s court on Monday on charges relating to murder.
And then to add insult to injury:
The mayor of Umtshezi, Lymon Shelembe, himself faces criminal charges following an arson attack on the home of Nomusa Mbatha, a Nadeco candidate in the elections. He is out on bail of R20 000.
You know I really think it’s time for the ANC and IFP to get together and have a joint seminar in KZN for all their members titled ‘Politics: No One Has To Die’.
Folks, if you think stealing election posters is going to somehow shift elections into your favour, then you have shown yourself to be too stupid to be in politics and should recuse yourself from the entire process lest you actually get into a position of power and mess it up for everyone else.
The ANC is finding that drawing up electoral lists is harder than expected. Thabo Mbeki has stated that he intends to use these local elections to rid council of corruption and ‘populists’ but he’s going to find that hard to do when local ANC branches submit lists full of the people he is trying to get rid of. I don’t think that the national ANC structure can override to much of the choices of the local ANC wards without straining tensions in the ANC even further. Observe the ruckus going down in KZN where no ANC councillor is prepared to give up their R17 000 a month salary (39 000(!!) if you’re on the executive committee) without a fight.
To me it seems Mbeki has got two choices. He can walk a tightrope trying to find balance within the ANC and make as many people (including the voting public) as happy as possible. Or he can go in with a hammer and smash everything to the ground and try and rebuild it again. Which is what I suspect may happen. It’s been long suspected that Mbeki is trying to turn the ANC into a modern ‘European’ style political party and these local elections might just be the opportunity for him to try to do that. But there’s going to be a lot of ganshing of teeth from within the ANC along the way.
Jacob Zuma has said that he will be campaigning for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal before the local elections in March 2006. This despite the ANC NEC trying to make him persona non grata in the ANC.
Now call me cynical but I have a feeling this will be less of Jacob Zuma campaigning for the ANC and more of Jacob Zuma campaigning for… well Jacob Zuma. If he’s going to get back in the ANC succession battle the local elections will be the first logical place to insert himself back into the hearts and minds of the ANC electorate before the ever important ANC NEC elections in 2007.
If Zuma does campaign and the ANC puts the kibosh on the IFP, which they might very well considering the state the IFP are in, it might give him some momentum going into 2007.
Isn’t it great being a republic. We don’t have roaylty hogging the public holidays and Christmas eve television programming… What’s that? We do have royalty you say? Well yes you’re obviously referring to King Goodwill Zwelithini, Chief of the Zulu, but he is more of a cultural leader, not one to be a burden on his people… Six million rand you say? For armoured waBenzi? For each queen? And R300 000 for medical aid? Well I guess those are vitals needed in todays day and age… Are sheets a vital need? Well yes of course, everyone needs a nice bed… Yes I’m sure I’d also sleep nicely on sheets costing R280 000.