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.




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Build week: Day 4

by Yolandi Viljoen

This morning we had a late start.

Omar arrived just in time to start his great project management skills. We decided that the objectives for the day was to weld all the windows, finish fixing the paving, put up the shading cloth and finish all brickwork.

The work started off slowly, but as loads had to be done, it picked up soon. The University of Pretoria JCP group took the shade cloth project into their own hands, and the results were greater than we expected. By adding something as simple as shade cloth, changed the space completely.

Welding had to be done, and we needed a bigger generator to power the welding machine. We made a few calls and quickly Mr Frank Mapara organised one from Kliptown, and before we knew it, it was already up and running. Abby apparently bought some petrol on her way to site.
Jedia took initiative with the wide range of sponsored pavers and incorporated the 1:1 logo into the new paving.

                                                                Some community helpers
Tuliza and I made another trip to Kliptowns’ PicknPay for supplies. The last we can afford. And on our way back heard that Nature’s Harvest sponsored 30 loafs of bread.
Buccs and Japie are adamant to raise the roof, with or without our help. We discussed many options, and we were worried about the structural integrity of the columns if they were to be cut and extended. I can however not argue with someone who has done steel welding for 20 years, so I phone a friend, a civil engineer, for a professional opinion. He gave the unofficial go-ahead. Buccs and Japie are convinced that it will be done before lunch time tomorrow. Success to be confirmed…
Mr Frank Mapara made us take out all the pavers, level the ground, and redo it. He also broke down a wall and redid it. He will not stand for anything but first class work (with second class labourers).

By the end of the day, we have not completed all the welding as planned, but that is how it goes. But the progress is finally visible! The windows will be installed tomorrow, and with our generously sponsored paint, we will coat them with pride. The walls, benches and columns are also on our list, so is the wooden seating.
Slovo Park Youth Forum aka Slovo Khayalami, lead by Frank Mpendulo, will all be dedicating their time to help us on our final day for the build week, branded with their Slovo Khayalami badges.
Photos by Clare Hughes