more than peace July 2018
July 2018 “In a world of increasing inequality, the legitimacy of institutions that give precedence to the property rights of 'the Haves' over the human rights of 'the Have Nots' is inevitably called into serious question.’ David Korten Land remains an emotive issue in South Africa, where two decades after apartheid’s demise, despite government policies aimed at restitution, redistribution, and tenure reform, there remain glaring racial disparities in land ownership. Since the ANC’s announcement last December regarding land expropriation without compensation, the public debate has been clouded by misrepresentation and a lack of data, according to Professor Ben Cousins, of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape.
The City of Cape Town recently reported 145 land protests and occupations between January - April 2018 resulting in 26,000 homes being removed by the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit. If this affected an average of 4 persons per house, the total number of people made homeless could total around 104,000 in just 4 months. Controversy concerning these removal processes is mounting rapidly as the evicted and civil rights activists are challenging the City’s use of interdicts as opposed to usual legal eviction procedures. Photo (Front Cover): Siqalo residents marched, burnt tyres and blocked Jakes Gerwel Drive with rocks and rubble. They were demanding services such as electricity and houses. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) 2
Photo: Building materials from the demolished shacks in Parkwood are taken away in trucks.1 Photo: Ashraf Hendricks To understand 'What the law has to say about evictions’, read this helpful article in the Mail & Guardian by Sandra Liebenberg, Professor of Human Rights Law, University of Stellenbosch, and Co-Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Administrative Justice Project (SERAJ).
Many South Africans have been waiting for 24 years for land and housing justice and in the cold, wet, windy months of a Cape Town winter the impact of informal and inadequate housing heightens the suffering and inequalities of the dispossessed. The length of wait is further compounded by allegations of ‘queue-jumping’ - as protesters who aren’t on the housing register or further down are attended to by the authorities desperate to find a solution to quell protests and violence. These deviations to the process have increased tensions across communities fatigued and angry at their long wait. In an interview in March 2018 with the Daily Maverick, Professor Ruth Hall of PLAAS (South African Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape) unpacked some of the key issues regarding rural and urban land reform in SA.
July 2018 You can read the article here. Professor Ruth Hall highlights some key areas which we must crucially acknowledge and concern ourselves with if we are committed to justice, truth, reconciliation, restitution and peace-building in South Africa. Prof. Hall points out that: •
We’ve gone through a process where both colonial conquest and apartheid ripped away land rights and agrarian livelihood, and what is left is a very deagrarianised society.
When people in South Africa say “we want land”, they often mean often one of two things: We want land for agriculture, but equally about well-located land for
housing (see article for stats) In SA, we could have done a lot more with land reform in the past 24 years. One of
the big problems is that we are not agreed on who should get the land. In the 1990s, when there was a discussion about the new dispensation and the need to transform property relations, it was clear land reform was both a rural and urban priority. Since then urban development land reform agenda has disap-
peared. In the current political moment, people are demanding well located housing and plots in urban areas. Across society we are seeing people mobilising, saying the City of Cape Town is sitting on well located land it is not developing, or selling to the highest bidder, rather than using that land to provide low-income housing for ordinary people.
Land reform is a principle: we need to overcome spatial apartheid. • It is intact in our rural areas between white commercial farms and commu•
nal areas and in the ex-Bantustans. It is intact in urban areas, in our CBDs and the outlying black townships.
The reason land reform has not advanced has been political, not legal and not Constitutional (The Constitution in Section 25 – the property clause – provides a very powerful mandate for transformation, redistributing land, and restoring land to the dispossessed). It has not been prioritised.
Prof. Ruth Hall asks: If land reform were to work, what would it look like? What kind of opportunities could it deliver? What kind of new rural and urban landscape could it produce? These are critical questions for the church to be seeking wisdom and understanding for and choosing to actively participate in realising with the whole of civil society.
July 2018 What is the role and response of the local Church to these land occupancies, evictions, escalating protests, violence, and in some areas, opportunistic crime? On 11th March 2018, the President hopefully declared: “We are now in healing mode. God is addressing our problems, he is addressing our challenges.”2 The Christian Scriptures reveal a God who progressively reveals himself to and through human-beings. God incarnates. He is always looking for those who will faithfully imitate him and bring about his loving, just, redemptive purposes in our personal lives and every sphere of society. When God addresses our problems and challenges, God’s Spirit works in and through the hearts, minds and actions of human-beings as we collectively seek healing and wholeness to the challenges and issues we face and have often created. Redemptive love is God’s nature and his way of relating. Only redemptive love can bring God’s purposes to birth in a world writhing with the pain of injustice, inequality, prejudice, fear, violence and chaos. The Church is both the fruit and the agent of God’s redemptive love and it so in every situation, the Church is called to be healers, reconcilers, servants, and mediators of God’s justice, reconciliation and healing.
Mitchell’s Plain, Vrygrond, and Westlake Mitchell’s Plain On Tuesday 1st May, Siqalo residents began protesting the lack of electricity, water and sanitation services in the informal settlement. They tipped over freight containers to block the road, and also cut down trees and set fire to them. Police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the protesters. Mitchells Plain residents cheered and assisted the police to push the freight cars out of the road. The road was reopened by noon on Wednesday.
July 2018 Violence between the communities erupted when Mitchells Plain residents confronted the Siqalo protesters over the road closures. Mitchells Plain residents said that during the night, people from Siqalo vandalised an ATM and a garage. A truck and fruit stand were burnt. The protests resulted in 30 arrests by police; a taxi driving into a crowd of protesters killing a 21 year old man; and a 51-year-old and a 36-year-old injured at the same intersection when bullets were fired from the Colorado side.3
Photo: Riot police patrol Siqalo after protests and violence escalated concerning service delivery inadequacies. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks Pastors were called on to help diffuse the tensions and retaliation between communities. A network of Pastors called the Western Cape Concerned Clergy Network invited More Than Peace to train 20 pastors as Peace Justice Witnesses. The training was well received and gave the pastors some tools to engage with the different stakeholders across their communities. Following the training, MTP has continued to support the Mitchellâ€™s Plain Church Leaders and the WC Concerned Clergy Network as they play a key role in engagements with City and Provincial officials at consultations concerning the escalating protests.
https://www.groundup.org.za/article/violent-clashes-between-mitchells-plain-andsiqalo-residents/ 6 3
July 2018 Vrygrond Following this training, we received an invitation to meet with church and community leaders in Vrygrond where violent protests erupted on 17 April 2018, after the City of Cape Townâ€™s Anti-Land Invasion Unit and Law Enforcement carried out a third demolition of dwellings erected illegally on a piece of land known as Xakabantu. Between Sunday and Tuesday, violent protesters petrol bombed a bottle store, a restaurant, a city facility, business building and cars in Capricorn Village.
Photo: More Than Peace facilitate a strategy meeting with Vrygrond Church and Community Leaders on their response to the City of Cape Townâ€™s evictions and demolitions which have left people homeless and landless. Xakabantu had been occupied by the Vrygrond community periodically until 2016 when it was proclaimed part of the False Bay Nature Reserve. This land also acts as a buffer zone between the Vrygrond Community and the Coastal Parks Landfill Site. More Than Peace has been meeting with Vrygrond church and community leaders to listen, learn and support them as they negotiate the housing and livelihood needs of their communities with City of Cape Town officials and, as they do so, to diffuse potential tensions and violence. 7
July 2018 In consultation with the church and community, we invited the Social Justice Coalition, to share their experiences and advocacy in other communities where land occupations and housing protests are occurring and clashes between occupants and law enforcement are increasing. This was well attended and the feedback was very positive. After this key meeting, the Vrygrond Community Leadership applied for a permit and lead a peaceful march to the City of Cape Town offices to deliver subsequent demands to Mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday 26th July. Despite a long wait and the Mayor refusing to accept their documented demands, the community returned home peacefully.
Photo: Vrygrond Church and Community Leaders invited More Than Peace and Pastors from across the WC to discuss the recent evictions and demolitions by the Anti Land Invasion Unit; the trauma experienced by the community by Law Enforcement’s use of rubber bullets and tear gas in the demolition; and the subsequent anger and protests by the community. In light of the positive benefits from the consultation with the Social Justice Coalition and after further conversations with the Vrygrond church and community Leaders, we have invited the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation to offer ‘Stakeholder Dialogue’ training: which seeks to equip communities seeking justice and transformation with an understanding of and skills for effective dialogue and negotiation with multiple-stakeholders. This training is open to all church and community leaders on Saturday 21st July, 09:30-15:00. Further details on p.12. 8
July 2018 Westlake On Sunday 3rd June, Westlake residents threatened to shut down roads leading into the area in protest over housing. Amanda Nobande, Community Leader, shared that residents have had enough of empty promises, following years of meetings between residents and authorities. The Westlake community obtained legal permission for a march from Westlake to the Alphen Centre sub-council office on Monday 4th June, where residents handed over a memorandum of demands to Cllr Penny East. The demands included land and housing for backyard dwellers, health facilities, an additional community centre, and a taxi rank. The Councillor was given seven days to respond. On Tuesday 5th June, More Than Peace was invited to facilitate a meeting between Cllr Penny East and Mayco representatives and the Community where the Councillorâ€™s responses to the demands could be discussed and points of clarity sought. Following this, we were invited to continue facilitating these negotiations and a second meeting took place in which discussions and commitments to look at the issues of the availability of land for housing development, a taxi rank, a sports and recreation centre, public safety and security issues, EPWP registrations, employment and training opportunities, and water allocations were discussed and actions agreed. Negotiations continue.
Western Cape Ecumenical Network On 14th June, the Western Cape Ecumenical Network, one of the most representative bodies of the denominations and movements that represent the Christian faith in the Western Cape, came together for an urgent meeting to discuss the escalating violent protest action in response to inadequate service delivery, housing and land provision in the Province.
Following discussions with inputs from Chris Nissen, SA Commissioner for Human Rights; Stan Henkeman, Director for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation; Mark Bloemstein, WC Concerned Clergy and Mitchellâ€™s Plain Church Leader; members of More Than Peace; and other members of the network, a statement was drafted and released on behalf of WCEN members.
Photo: An urgent meeting was called by WCEN to discuss the current violent protests concerning the lack of housing, land and service delivery provision in the WC. Chris Nissen (SAHRC) and Stan Henkeman (IJR) were invited to share their insights and help WCEN leaders consider the prophetic response of the church.
The SA Human Rights Commission On Monday 18th June, MTP met with the Commissioner for Human Rights, Chris Nissen, to discuss the work and role that MTP is playing in serving, supporting, and training church leaders who are responding to service delivery, housing and land protests in their communities. The Commissioner has invited MTP to present to his team the work that we do and the training we offer and to establish a MOI so that we can work more closely together. The mandate of the Commission as contained in Section 184 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 is as follows: 1. The South African Human Rights Commission must â€“ a) promote respect for human rights and a culture of human rights; b) promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights; and c) monitor and assess the observance of human rights in the Republic. You can watch a short clip about their work here.
July 2018 What’s Your Story? Heartlines ‘What’s your story?’ is an initiative by Heartlines: the Centre for Values Promotion to build understanding, greater cohesion and, ultimately trust and reconciliation through the sharing of personal stories. In partnership with Heartlines, MTP is training church and community leaders to facilitate story-telling gatherings in local communities, universities, schools, youth groups and workplaces. Watch the trailer here and get in touch if we can facilitate a story sharing event with you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about any of our training options.
University Engagements CPUT: Yekiso Commission of Enquiry On 22 February 2018 the Chairperson of Council, Nogolide Nojozi, informed the CPUT community of the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of, and alleged breakdown in, relations between the CPUT Council, the Senior Management and students as well as certain external stakeholders. This follows the protracted and, at times, violent student protests over a period of three years spanning from 1 January 2014 up to and including 30 September 2017. The Commission, which consists of Judge James Yekiso and Advocate Willem Heath SC, undertakes to investigate all issues referred to in its Terms of Reference impartially, objectively, and without favour or prejudice. Written submissions from institutional structures and stakeholders were invited. The Yekiso Commission commenced its operations on 5 March 2018 and will submit a final report with findings and recommendations to Council by no later than 31 July 2018. More Than Peace submitted two reports to the Commission from our observations, role and responsibilities during the FeesMustFall Protests 2015-2017. The reports covered our Ad Hoc Mediations and Observations and our role facilitating the Rapid Response Task Team.
July 2018 UCT: Transformation and Trauma The MTP team is continuing in dialogue with UCT Management and students to support their institutional commitments to transformation. MTP will be reflecting on our observations over the last 2.5 years as Peace Justice Witnesses and Mediators with UCT at upcoming meetings and considering how we can support ongoing conflict transformation and peace-building work at the university. Students and staff experienced high levels of trauma over the last 3 years and continue to seek trauma counsellors and therapists outside of the UCT community via MTP and other trusted organisations. We seek out trained professionals able to offer pro-bono or a sliding-scale to members of the university community. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in this crucial work.
Upcoming events Stakeholder Dialogue Training Saturday 21st July 2018 | 09:30 - 15:00 Westlake United Church Trust, Cnr Egret Close & Westlake Drive, Westlake. 'Stakeholder Dialogue Training' seeks to equip communities seeking justice and transformation with an understanding of and skills for effective dialogue and negotiation with multiple-stakeholders. Dialogue is not as simple as we sometimes think it is, especially when stakeholders have different, opposing or conflicting points of view. Working through challenges and conflict to find agreement and commitment on a shared way forward takes patience, courage, insight and skill. In partnership with local churches, 'More Than Peace' invites you and your community to a 'Stakeholder Dialogue Training' facilitated by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. The training will be facilitated by Stan Henkeman and Kenneth Lukuko. For more details and to book, please email Rev Annie Kirke
July 2018 More Than Peace has a home!
MTP moved into our new office at Central Methodist Mission in the CBD on 1st April - no jokes! You can find us at: Central Methodist Mission Office 46 Church St Cape Town 8001 email: email@example.com c: 0607187636
July 2018 More Than Peace Who we are Founded in 2015 through The South African Christian Leaders Initiative (SACLI), alongside partners Christ Church Kenilworth, The Warehouse Trust and The Mennonite Central Committee, More Than Peace (MTP) is a coalition representing various like-minded churches and organisations, mandated to work towards the establishment of peace and social justice in South Africa.
Our vision We desire to see a South Africa where all voices are heard, and where the practice of democracy builds bridges instead of creating divides. We believe that key to a successful second democratic transition is the facilitation of dialogical spaces where the painful realities and enduring legacies of the past - relational, systemic and structural - can be expressed, heard, shared and resolved at an individual and structural level. We see this happening in part through the church reclaiming its place in the fight for justice, and once again embracing its role as a peace-maker within society. More Than Peace seeks to assist in facilitating and sustaining dialogue in the midst of the conflict that is essential for the change we envision. The rainbow nation narrative has in many ways masked deep wounds which have subsequently festered causing increasing pain, anger, mistrust and a need for things to be redressed urgently. In contrast to this, we wish to facilitate spaces that allow these wounds to be seen, refusing to shy away from the very real pain and trauma present in our nation, instead encouraging the kind of discomfort and disequilibrium that disturbs the false peace, administers true healing, and helps to build trust and relational wholeness in the context of which a co-created vision of the future can be birthed and pursued.â€Š
July 2018 Our strategy Our strategy is encompassed in the following five pillars: ! Church Leaders: We recognise the magnitude of the reach and influence of the Church, particularly in South Africa, and therefore see it as a key role player in the work of establishing a society marked by peace and justice. In the light of this, part of our strategy includes building relationship with church leaders, and training, equipping, and deploying them to assist in conflict management. Additionally, we seek to assist the Church in embracing its identity as a peace-maker in society through the embodiment of a theology that considers peace and justice central pillars. ! Mediation: We recognise the need for professional mediation in conflict resolution, as technical support for church leaders, and have thus built up a team of expert mediators. These mediators are deployed into conflict situations to assist in facilitating authentic and productive dialogue towards resolving disputes between conflicting parties, as well as to increase the negotiation and mediation capacity within these parties. We hope to broaden this team both by seeking to include already-qualified mediators, as well as by training up new ones. ! Peace Justice Witnesses (PJWs): The presence of impartial observers in situations of conflict has been shown to reduce the violence and tension that occurs within them. In light of this, we train and deploy Peace Justice Witnesses (PJWs) to be a peaceful presence within various protests and demonstrations, while observing and recording the happenings therein. In addition to the beneficial effect of their presence in reducing violence and tension, the information recorded by the PJWs has been effectively used to hold both the conflicting parties, the media, and other stakeholders, to account. ! Prayer: We consider prayer as essential within spaces of conflict where supernatural peace, understanding and assistance, are constantly needed. ! Trauma: We recognise the effects of past trauma in erecting barriers to conflict resolution, as well as creating triggers for re-traumatisation. As such we see the necessity of parties involved in mediation to be trauma-informed, as well as to have the opportunity to experience healing from their own trauma. In light of this, we are seeking to build relationships with trauma specialists and create a trauma team to raise awareness of trauma and its effects, as well as lead traumatised individuals on journeys of healing.
July 2018 Support Us As a coalition, we value the support and involvement of a broad group across civil society. There are different ways that you can be actively participate in developing More Than Peace:
1. Receive MTP quarterly publication of our focus and the outcomes of our work. Subscribe here. 2. MTP Prayer Broadcasts: join us in praying for our nation and the transformation of the inequalities and injustices that need to be transformed for peace to be established. To receive regular updates message +27 (0)612146604 or email here. 3. Financial Support: Thank you to all our financial supporters without whom we could not sustain our work. With land occupations escalating and church leaders being called upon to urgently assist, More Than Peace can help by training and equipping leaders and communities with conflict and peace-building skills. Why not support us R50 / R100 / R1000 per month? Every donation supports a training workshop, a mediation session, resources and 1:1 support from our team of mediators and coaches.
MTP bank details are: First National Bank Account No: 62696656605 Branch Code: 250655 Bank Ref: MTP General 2018
4. Training: attend or host at your church, university, school, or work place: ●
a 4-hour Peace Justice Witness Training
3 day ‘Understanding and Transforming Conflict’ Training
‘What’s your story?’ - Heartlines: the Centre for Values Promotion is committed to the power of story and positive values to touch hearts and transform behaviour. ●
‘What’s Your Story’ is their latest initiative to build understanding, greater cohesion and, ultimately trust and reconciliation through the sharing of our stories. 16
July 2018 â—? Watch the trailer here and get in touch if we can facilitate a story sharing event with you. Email here to find out more about any of our training options. â—? Stakeholder Dialogue Training: Saturday 21st July 2018 | 09:30 - 15:00, Westlake United Church Trust, Cnr Egret Close & Westlake Drive, Westlake. For more details and to book any training, please email Rev Annie Kirke here.
5. Trauma Response: help us to develop a network of trauma practitioners, email here. if you are a practitioner or advocate who can help.
6. Other suggestions? Please get in touch with us to share ideas or opportunities that you see which could support and fulfil the vision of MTP here.
Get in touch MTP Board Members Miles Giljam, SACLI, firstname.lastname@example.org Pros Ndimande, email@example.com Craig Stewart, The Warehouse Trust, firstname.lastname@example.org
MTP Office 46 Church St, Cape Town, 8001 General Enquiries: email@example.com PJW and Mediation training and assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors: Rev Annie Kirke: 0607187636 | email@example.com Miles Giljam: 079 5742926 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 2015 through The South African Christian Leaders Initiative (SACLI), alongside partners Christ Church Kenilworth, The Warehouse T...
Published on Jul 4, 2018
Founded in 2015 through The South African Christian Leaders Initiative (SACLI), alongside partners Christ Church Kenilworth, The Warehouse T...