By Max Rambau, CORC
At a recent visit to Erasmus 2 in Ekurhuleni, a local leader took us to the nearby emerging informal settlement. It was very cold and the rest of the leadership was delayed. We could not wait for all of them, but we managed to meet with a few. The meeting went well. The tenant who is renting from the absentee landlord at Erasmus has already started getting people in to build their shacks on the farm. About 50 families are now staying here. Two shacks have been built on the verandah of the house.
On Sunday morning we went to Zuurbekom where ISN chairman Patrick Magebhula was addressing the saving scheme on savings and land. Patrick asked the savers whether they knew about the Informal Settlement Network. He then outlined what the ISN is and asked them to get one member to represent them in the network. On the issue of the number of members in the saving scheme it was not clear, from the different answers, how many members they had but promised to compile the data of their membership. On the issue of land it was also not clear how much the land is in the negotiations. There is private land (R500 000 as a part but R2 million for the whole land) as well as land that is owned by Intersite (railway), but the latter’s size is not clear. Patrick will be coming back on the 7th July to assist in checking the progress on the questions raised in the meeting.
In the afternoon of the cold Sunday we were at Dipatseng Informal Settlement (near Lenasia Trade Route Mall). The purpose of our being there was to distribute blankets to some needy people and the elderly. The winner of the month of May 2011 in saving, the Ipopeng Saving Scheme from Carletonville were also given blankets. We received blankets from with Pastor Jordaan (wife of Danny Jordaan) who came on behalf of four churches, St. Johns, Anglican, Methodist Church, African Methodist Church and a church youth group. They handed over blankets to needy and elderly people from Carletonville (Ipopeng Saving Scheme), Protea South, Kliptown, Eldorado Park, Vegeland and Thembelihle. Slovo Park and other areas that included Orange Farm could not come because they did not have transport. Zuurbekom and Duduza could also not come. There were some people (Protea South, Kliptown and Meadowlands) who had had their shacks burnt who were given blankets. The people were so appreciative and sang songs to show their gratefulness. About 75 people benefitted from this kind gesture.