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.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Build week: Day 2

by Tuliza Sindi
Day 2 of build week started with great momentum and the energy was evidant. While some sanded all of the wooden palettes' planks, others marked and dug the holes for the column footings that will support the pivoting windows.

Abby and Kiana, with Frans's bakkie, took charge of collecting sand for the concrete and mortar mix. A weak battery proved quite problematic, as many times the truck needed a push start, sometimes while loaded with sand.

As Yolandi, Tialise and I went to Kliptown's Pick n Pay to get food supplies, Corobrick very kindly arrived with a delivery of 3000 bricks (with their own transport). The jungle gym, which was stored at Frank Maparas' place overnight, was brought back and in no time, the hall was encumbered with curious and excited children that not only saw the play potential in the playground, but also in the building sand. They remained with us until the end of the day.

We formed several brick lines and passed along it enough bricks to each of the Hall's edges, to ensure that enough bricks are placed close to where the walls will be built.

When lunchtime arrived, we took turns to eat at Frank's, so that we could have a couple of people remain at Slovo Hall to watch over the building materials.
As Frank and Mohau, along with several other community members, set out and marked a straight line for the East wall, they realized that the third column from the north wall sticks out further east than the other columns. To avoid the wall possibly being built further than the roof edge, they decided to use an angle grinder to saw off the bottom of that column, and anchor it into the wall by building around it.
One of the day's highlights was the arrival of the generator, supplied by David. This brought much joy, as a generator proved quite difficult to organise. David said he simply didn't know we needed one, but that he had an unused working generator at his mother's house.

While Yolandi went to collect the brick force and oil for the generator, the boys were assigned the task of breaking the rough screed with mallets, to smoothen the floor surface in the Hall for the walls.
As the day's end came, I left with the hopes that we'll find our building materials all there the next day.
Photos by Clare Hughes