Lives at stake as suburb burns

Comment on this story


IOL  ST DurbanDeep0189

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Residents of Durban Deep in Roodepoort block Main Reef Road during last weeks protests. Picture: Matthews Baloyi

The war over Durban Deep is, at its heart, against capital and perhaps the collaboration between capital and politics, writes Janet Smith.

Johannesburg - There are wide black scars on Main Reef Road at the junction with Durban Deep, Roodepoort. Burnt tyres, discarded wheel guards, small piles of stones and charred tree trunks and branches lie abandoned.

It’s quiet there when the day draws to a close, but just over a week ago, this intersection was full of angry people with a lot to lose. If you shut out the noise of 2014, you might have thought you were in the South Africa of the early 1990s.

Billowing smoke tumbled into the air off piles of debris. Fists were hoisted as the crowd toyi-toyied, tired feet the percussion to songs about freedom. Placards raged.

Snap back to 2014 and, if you were in the snarl being diverted from the protest, you would surely have thought of only two words: service delivery. Radio traffic reports summarised a familiar sight. But this was no so-called service delivery. This protest – which resulted in the death of a young man, allegedly at the hand of a policeman – was different.

It was about evictions, a subject that has deeply affected generations of black South Africans. Although Durban Deep is not going to see forced removals, there are tens of thousands around the country still affected by families torn apart after violent dispossessions under apartheid. Entire communities were destroyed, hopes of having a permanent home shattered and human rights completely ignored. But while the intention of last Thursday’s protest against evictions was the same as those of decades ago – for people to protect the little they have and stand up against discrimination – there was an essential difference.

The war over Durban Deep is, at its heart, against capital and perhaps the collaboration between capital and politics. Either way, it threatens to bring an end to a community’s existence.

The placards raged not at a political party, but at the developers: “Dino Properties U found us here we going no way.” “Dino stop bullying us.” “Give us our place back.” The company’s plan since it bought the land from miner DRD Gold, is to build at least 14 000 new houses in a massive low-income residential development project conceptually not unlike Cosmo City. But that development north of Joburg was different to the one at Durban Deep in that many of the residents were moved there from surrounding informal settlements, and some were given fully subsidised houses.

Durban Deep may, instead, look more like the dispute unfolding in Comet Village in Boksburg where an old mining community has become the centre of a land dispute that may see residents who have lived there for decades evicted by development company Living Africa Properties.

Yet it is the Cosmo City example which may have filtered into the consciousness – not only of people living in the old mine village and at the two former hostels at Durban Deep, those being the only parts of the area that now belong to Dino Properties. Rumours are rife in the community that the shacklands around Bramfischerville, which borders the old DRD Gold property, as well as Sol Plaatje, Matholesville, Dunuza and other settlements there, could be moved.

But Dino Properties’ attorney Greg Vermaak says this is simply not true.

“The old mining village is overwhelmingly not hostels but suburban type houses. There are no informal settlements on my client’s property which I am aware of.”

He says the residents who received notice to vacate their houses a year ago are tenants, “not old mine occupiers”, and, as of Saturday, they will be living on the company’s land illegally.

“It’s a normal situation. Tenants, of whom there are millions in this country, pay their rent every month and at a stage the lease may be terminated. These aren’t squatters that invaded the land through desperation. These are people who entered this with their eyes wide open, with leases.

“Those who occupy the hostels may be a slightly different story. They may be able to demonstrate poverty. There’s a higher chance, but that’s pure conjecture. The residents received a notice terminating their leases and telling them that at a certain stage they would have to vacate the property, and that time was extended at their request and by agreement to the end of January.”

And so Dino Properties now intends to commence eviction proceedings, despite the protests and the death of Tshepo Babuseng .

“Private property rights are still enforceable,” says Vermaak. “An eviction order has to be obtained during which time the right of the occupiers to claim alternative accommodation elsewhere will be explored. But the obligation to do this, which is very constrained, vests in the authorities – local government – not the landowners.

“In that mantra lies the truth of the matter.”

None of this seems to matter to many people who have been living in and around Durban Deep for years. Up to 3 000 could be affected by the development, some of them expecting to lose the place they call home. And that fear could well see them lobby other disaffected people to protest – even those who don’t fall into Dino Properties’ count.

There are far too many reasons for poor communities like this one to take their fury onto the streets. Unemployment, crime, hunger and now, the threat of losing the one salvation – a roof over their heads.

Durban Deep last saw crowbars in 2007 when the hated Red Ants were sent to demolish shacks. Violence closed in, and that’s likely to happen again. Only, this time, the stakes seem so much higher.

* Janet Smith is executive editor of The Star.

The Star


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Newspaper Subscriptions
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Enkellopende
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 43.
View Profile
Dee37
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Liefieling86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 32.
View Profile
Takingtime
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
MissSM
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 39.
View Profile
Crispy990
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
RobzMolecule
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
Teleporter1612
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 100.
View Profile
MTBGirl_11
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
dragonfly86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Apple_853
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
JustChat76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Butterfly_effect
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 48.
View Profile
khosyx
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 30.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Midcentury_girl
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Gemima
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Rosesandlace
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Lilakii
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 31.
View Profile
tigerlady28
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 34.
View Profile
Smileawhile
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 52.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
Blu
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 33.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
SilverLiningM
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
Minky3001
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
Caroline_
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 36.
View Profile
Dollie81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Okidoki_63
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
ShanJo
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
klouise
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 39.
View Profile
Jenny84
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 40.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jobaby10
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
0044MJM
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 48 and 61.
View Profile
L123
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
Vuurvliegie1974
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 47.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
LeilaM
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
luvlie
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 46 and 52.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
GypseyTraveller
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 58.
View Profile
EMT2014
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Sonskyn83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Blondie_434
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 43.
View Profile
JayAnne
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 56 and 70.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Bianx24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Mo1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 43.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
JULIET_001
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 63.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
MizLiz
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
recently40
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 58.
View Profile
Jimmyhgirl
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Lady_101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Kelbels0201
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 42.
View Profile
BMull08
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
Mickey101
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
HartjievanHoneydew
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
pikkewyn_123
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 40.
View Profile
BlondeBerry
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
WandaLove
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 26.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
007Bee
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
NotADog
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
SalsaHoney
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
chloeeeee
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 52.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Foreverinhope
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
Guardian_24
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 43.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
ClassicRocker
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Ryno_56
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 34.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
HappyEnding
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 45.
View Profile
VirgoMan1970
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
TripleJ94
I'm a 20 year old man looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Smartboy_102
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
BENTLEY292
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
Fitwithhealth
I'm a 72 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 65.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
brightday111
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
TLS11
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Tall_fun
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
IanT
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
TallDreamer
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Dazz7605
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 44.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
CDolf
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 46.
View Profile
FamilyMan72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 43.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
jacuwig
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
DJStarglance
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
naughty_sporty
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
sunset22
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Lovelyn111
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 51 and 63.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
charl1906
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
versl_550
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
George5911
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 50.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
contour
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 39.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Marius_P
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
IrishBoy11
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
Bryn
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 55.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile

Business Directory