Slovo Park at a Glance
Slovo Park is situated in a politically and socially sensitive stretch of land south of Soweto. The community has been known by national government as Nancefield, by local council as Olifantsvlei and in the last five years as Slovo Park – named in honour of South Africa’s first minister of housing and former Umkhonto we Sizwe General, Joe Slovo.
The forced changing of identity reflects an on-going struggle faced by the leadership of Slovo Park to gain recognition as a legitimate settlement to access governmental support. This battle has been fought through constant shifts in governmental policy, power and promises for the community of Slovo Park. Their only tactics comprising of service delivery protest, painstaking formal requests for upgrade and currently a lawsuit against the City of Johannesburg.
Currently the community of Slovo Park with its development partners are strategizing this key social and political move.
THIS SITE SERVES AS A PORTAL FOR THE COMMUNITY OF SLOVO PARK & THE VARIOUS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS TO SHARE THE JOURNEY OF RE-DEVELOPMENT.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Day 2: On site.
I arrived on site expecting to see the same weary faces we always meet but I was met by a hive of activity with a large group of mostly Mozambican woman raking, digging and cleaning site. In there beautifully coloured skirts and wrap dresses they were solidly working the ground, while a group of mean stood in the shade and debated a good many things with regards to how things are built...
The men then sprung to work and began to dig the foundation trenches to the west and north of the existing structure which they had marked out using string and red dust on the earth. Shakes our resident welder organised a generator and welded the flat bar supports onto the existing frame.
I left with the committee member to obtain sponsorship which is easier when you have documentation and a car. (people just opened gates for me where the day before the community had been stopped)
We managed some help from the bread factory who were willing to give bread for the people working on site as well as financial aid from other businesses.
We returned to site to see the first trench complete and a beautifully cleared area for paving.
We then went to try and obtain some juice sponsorship but ended up with grass instead.
By the time I left it had been an eye opening day of understanding misunderstanding and relating to the process.