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.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Building Continues... Community Takes Over

by Omar Horzook

The end to Build Week, 16-20 July, saw the team having to work on Saturday, 21-07-12 in a drive to push for completion. Despite the team’s best effort not everything could be achieved. This left some important elements outstanding, as well as many smaller details. These include the door to be fitted into the opening in the north wall, the brick columns to be built around the extended steel supports, the structure for and completion of the roof extension, and the tip-up doors to the south.
Sunday 22-07 - The construction team decided that Sunday was to be a rest day.

Monday 23-07 - Owing to a number of community meetings, commencement of building was postponed from Monday to Tuesday.
Tuesday 24-07 - Building was off to a late start as many of the Slovo Park residents employed in the adjacent cemetery project were unsure of their employment position due to the project being  temporarily halted. This is in part due to the complaints by the Slovo Park residents of their possible eviction to make space for the cemetery for project.
Building work commenced around 3pm with much of the steel work being done. Some brickwork from the previous week was also corrected or completed. A quick tidying up of the site saw all rubble being collected to fill the base of the bench cavity wall. This was topped with soil and moistened to help settle and level the soil.

Wednesday 25-07 - (O. Horzook absent) Support structure of the roof extension to the west was largely completed, with only the southern end having been delayed due to the lack of material and a generator. The brick piers forming the partitions for the benches were finished off to cill level. The concrete topping for the benches was cast and left to cure

Thursday 26-07 - Yet again, construction for the day was delayed, with myself and Mohau having to run errands to draw money, and to purchase groceries for meals for the build team. Some work carried on on site, but only a few volunteers were present. With the concrete having settled, preparations were under way to finish the bench with the timber slats prepared during Build Week 1. The detailing for this was only resolved at the end of the day, leaving the finishing for Friday. Final adjustments to the windows were made, and the filling in of the external window cills began. For this, it was decided to use the clay tiles donated by Akhani. 

Jhono arrived on site with roof sheeting and cement collected in Brakpan, as organised by Kiana. These sheets were immediately fitted to the hall, with only a 1/3 of the length outstanding. Building material including Sanitaryware, countertops and mirrors were generously donated and delivered to site by Builders Warehouse Rivonia, organised by Abby.
Friday 27-07 - Installation of the timber seats started first thing in the morning whilst the local team was still at breakfast. This took the rest of the day, with only four of the six benches being completed, owing to a shortage of nails. The door to the north was eventually brought into the hall, and is brickwork surround integrated into that of the adjacent brick support column. Mr Mapara also continued with the brick columns to the east side between the benches. The remainder of the roof sheets were fitted, and the polycarbonate sheets above the west   windows were cut and prepared. Fitting of these commenced in the afternoon.

Friday Evening - Having left the site at 5:30pm, work still carried on by the locals. Some more brickwork was finished, with the bulk of the late-night work being welding of the south door frames. Members of the 1:1 Team came to lend a hand, including Jhono Bennett. Work ensued until 12:30am Saturday morning.