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.




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Business Forum Meeting

by Tuliza Sindi

Our first research day took us to the Business Forum meeting, conducted at a house in the third block from Slovo Hall, on Frank Mapara street. It started off with a prayer by Buccs (Johannes), the secretary, who then gave us the agenda and conducted further proceedings in both English and Sotho. We were taken by surprise when asked to present again. The crowd said nothing after being asked for feedback by us and Buccs. He decided to translate all of our ideas into Sotho, as we sat apologetic that there was a language barrier. The ice finally broke when we were complimented by Mohau for a more confident round of presentations. Our ideas were well received by the Forum, especially that of keeping money in Slovo, and a suggestion was made that we meet only with the Youth Forum leader, the Business Forum leader and Mohau to devise a strategy for the coming build week of Slovo Hall. Mohau informed the Forum of the Health Department's desire to give pneumonia shots, which inspired a possible event that could happen in Slovo Hall.

It seemed like they were full of surprises today, as we were all led into the spaza to be greeted by two girls waiting with warm plates of food and cooldrinks. Although very tasty, it proved to be quite a heavy meal, and it wore us out a bit.

To not disturb the Forum meeting any further, we proceeded to Frank Mapara's tavern, where we finalized Saturday's agenda and got ideas regarding the children's level of involvement and possible fun activities to introduce during the course of our engagements.
We then went to measure all of the available building materials stored in one of the post-boxes. Since we were there, we decided to brainstorm about the Hall as we walked around it, making suggestions and envisioning how those ideas might or might not work, whilst receiving input from the Forum leaders.

Our meeting gave us a clear vision for the next session and got us excited about the workshop planned for Saturday.