In May 2008, xenophobic attacks swept through South Africa leaving 62 people dead and 21 of whom were South African citizens. Elitsha spoke to foreign nationals in Port Elizabeth Central to ask whether they feel safe or not.
Widespread protests for land and housing are taking place with backyarders and landless people occupying vacant land in Cape Town.
Overflowing sewage is a frequent problem for residents of Samora Machel township and elsewhere in Cape Town. Besides the terrible stench they have to contend with, residents report that their children suffer from skin rashes and respiratory ailments.
The Msunduzi Municipality has recognised the problem of ‘wirewall houses’ delivering electric shocks to their occupants. A Wirewall Rectification Programme started in 2011 did not reach Imbali Unit 18 and it doesn’t look like they have a plan to assist the 70 households affected.
A meeting between leadership of the Vrygrond community and the City of Cape Town, after several stand-offs between law enforcement officers and backyarders who have attempted to occupy vacant land, has not taken place even though a date was set.
The peace agreement intended to bring the turf war between rival taxi associations in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape appears to be holding. Police Minister Bheki Cele brokered the deal by closing taxi ranks and routes. A month after the signing of the deal, just two ranks have reopened.
Many believe the Glebelands violence is driven by corruption, particularly involving construction tenders and unit allocation. The vast majority of residents killed were targeted because they opposed the ward councilor’s alleged corruption and nepotism.
Pensioners in Port Elizabeth have threatened to boycott the 2019 elections unless the government pay them reparations for working as public servants under exploitative Apartheid and Bantustan regimes.
Late last year, seven of Glebelands most notorious ‘hitmen’ – including the hostel’s rogue cop – were arrested and charged with 19 counts of murder, attempted murder, racketeering, extortion and possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Elitsha has been tracking the ‘Glebelands 7’ progress through the criminal justice system. This is Part 2.