Mandela Park Backyarders
The Mandela Park Backyarders or just Backyarders is an unfunded Khayelitsha-based South African social movement made up of poor and marginalised residents of Mandela Park that is working for housing rights and against evictions.
The focus of the movement is on providing legal support for residents on housing issues, fighting for the rights of its members in relation to government housing policies, as well as conducting workshops and democratic discussions about housing issues.
The movement claims to be a socialist movement that believes in direct democracy through open mass meetings with all members invited.
Campaign against housing corruption
Mandela Park Backyarders have alleged widespread corruption in government housing allocation in Mandela Park. They have been successful in compelling the Provincial Housing Department towards organising a probe into the illegal buying and selling of RDP houses in the area. Backyarder protests have also forced provincial government to fire corrupt contractors from Mandela Park developments.
Protests and arrests of members
In September 2009, Mandela Park Backyarders protested against what they called a false promise of 23 houses from MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela. 23 Backyarders were then arrested for allegedly vandalising government property. However, Backyarders claim that the 23 members were not involved and that police arrested anyone they could find connected to the Backyarder movement. The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Philosophy of the movement
The Backyarders have become increasingly critical of voting whose purpose they see as providing legitimacy to corrupt politicians despite little change in their condition. They have become fed-up with the voting process which they see as an undemocratic ritual and have threatened not to vote in the upcoming elections.
- The Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee in India
- The EZLN in Mexico
- Fanmi Lavalas in Haiti
- The Homeless Workers' Movement in Brazil
- The Landless Workers' Movement in Brazil
- Movement for Justice in el Barrio in the United States of America
- Narmada Bachao Andolan in India
- Take Back the Land in the United States of America
Notes and references
- Mandela Park Backyarders: About Us Archived 2 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mandela Park Backyarders Broker 50/50 Deal With MEC
- Claims of illegal RDP sales in Mandela Park
- Khayelitsha dwellers say they have proof of RDP house allocation fraud
- Mandela Park residents frustrated over lack of housing
- Construction In Mandela Park still closed but managing agent breaks with MEC and supports the Backyarders
- Sowetan:MEC under siege over 'false promise'
- Backyarders and MEC in dispute over house allocation
- The ‘Mandela Park 23′ to appear in Khayelitsha Magistrates court tomorrow at 9am Archived 10 July 2012 at Archive.is
- Cape Town: 23 Mandela Park Backyarders Arrested
- 23 accused residents are free again
- The revolt of South Africa’s untouchables
- A self-written history of Mandela Park: Kwanele! Enough Is Genoeg! Archived 16 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.