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.




Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pap, Wors & Closure - an Informal End

by Omar Horzook 

Saturday 28-07 - With the late-night push for completion, the hall took on a different image on Saturday morning. Yet again, work was off to a slow start, despite the imminent hand-over. This was largely due the late-night, and that some of the principal volunteers operate taverns until late night on weekends. At this crucial stage, a last-minute trip to the local hardware store had to be done, to get tack screws needed to fix the remaining polycarbonate sheets.

With the prompt arrival of the 1:1 student team including the JCP students, the site became vibrant again. This despite the  fact that the day’s visitors ended up having to work, clearing  up the site of rubble, neatly storing the un-used bricks to form outdoor seating, and washing and cleaning of the paved areas and the hall.

A final tidying up and cleaning of the hall and its surrounds made for a professional hand over of the site, even though a few aspects needed tending to. These are to be addressed in the upcoming week, and include final building of columns, painting of all steel work, sealing of the roof leaks, installation of the ceiling insulation panels, repairing of the floor tiles and closing of the window panels. Attention must also be paid to the ailing jungle gym, as it is over-used by the local children, and is in need of reinforcing.


Another Perspective
by Yolandi Viljoen

The day finally arrived. The upgraded Slovo Hall : Opening. Truth be told, I was dreading this day. Not being part of the building process for the last week and being forced to focus on other work, when we have not completed the Slovo Hall, was challenging. The community was eager to complete the process of enclosing the hall and Omar kindly updated us on the progress as the week went by.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that everyone was already hard at work when we arrived. None of us expected to be working on Saturday, but things needed to be done, and thus we all jumped in.

The energy was great. Bonga, Frank and the rest of the Slovo Khayalami Youth Forum set up a DJ set and the music attracted many children and unfamiliar faces. Julia offered to make us pap and Mohau and I drove to Kliptown for some meat to end the day off proudly South African style, with a braai.

At 6PM when we left Slovo Park, I felt very close to content. Saying a temporary goodbye to everyone we have met the last 2 months, made many things I know ,quite irrelevant and all the things I have learned, crucial.

Japie and Tebogo
The improv-braai/tap

The JCP students from the University of Pretoria