Kelebogile first joined us in June 2018 as litigation intern before taking on the role of a candidate attorney in January 2019. She holds an LLB degree from the University of the Free State (UFS). She is the former chairperson of the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) at UFS and has served in various student and youth formations and led #FeesMustFall and #OutsourcingMustFall movements at UFS. She is a social and political activist who is passionate about social justice, equality, Black Consciousness and Pan Africanism. Her interests are in politics involving the struggles of the working class, community building and working to protect and advance the rights of marginalised groups.
Ornate joins us as a candidate attorney having completed his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He was an active member of Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and also participated in the Constitution Hill Peer Education Project. Ornate is broadly interested in Human Rights work and making meaningful contributions to the achievement of social justice.
SERI's June 2018 newsletter is out. This is SERI's last newsletter of 2018. In it we present a few highlights from our work since June this year. SERI currently has 99 active cases through which we assist communities to resist evictions and secure basic services in their homes in informal settlements and inner city buildings; to safeguard their participation; hold duty bearers to account and defend their right to work.
We have also furthered our research and advocacy work, and participated in a number of exciting civil society and government engagements. SERI engaged actively with various urban land reform processes and dialogues, including the Department of Human Settlement’s policy and strategy reform process; SALGA’s Human Settlements and Municipal Working Group; the Presidency’s Advisory Panel on Land Reform and provided inputs on a new informal settlement upgrading financing mechanism. We continued to our work in enabling the informal economy in collaboration with SALGA and foregrounded the strategies and tactics employed by inner city residents in their struggle for decent well located housing.
During thsi time, we also made a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, on which she drew in her report on informal settlements and human rights to the UN General Assembly, and contributed to a parallel report on the South African government's progress in realising socio-economic rights to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Committee), the international treaty body responsible for monitoring the implementation of socio-economic rights by states.
On Friday SERI, in partnership with the Inner City Federation, launched it’s latest publication focussing on the Inner City Federation. This publication, entitled “Inner-City Federation: Fighting for Decent Housing in Inner-City Johannesburg” forms part of SERI’s on-going documentation of community-based organisations and social movements. It provides a brief background to the challenges facing low-income tenants and unlawful occupiers in inner-city Johannesburg. It also summarises the key events in the struggles of poor inner-city residents to resist evictions, harassment and displacement; establish and maintain effective self-management structures in dilapidated inner-city buildings; collectively mobilise residents; and advocate for decent housing. The note examines the strategies and tactics of the Inner-City Federation.
On 2 December 2018, the Daily Maverick’s Ntakeko Mabasa wrote this article which provides insight on the content of the publication and sheds more light the on-going battle for affordable housing in the inner-city of Johannesburg .
On 30 November 2018 the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) will launch a new research publication, a community practice note entitled Inner City Federation: Fighting for Decent Housing in Inner-City Johannesburg, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The community practice note documents the struggle of the Inner City Federation (the ICF), a self-organising coalition of tenants and unlawful occupiers from over 40 buildings in inner-city Johannesburg that advocates for better housing and basic services and challenges the stigma associated with low-income residents in the inner-city. The ICF is the first self-organised group of low-income residents living in Johannesburg's so-called 'bad buildings' in over a decade. It's main aim is to challenge the lack of well-located, affordable housing.
The community practice note examines the strategies and tactics used by poor inner-city residents to resist evictions, harassment and displacement; establish and maintain effective self-management structures in dilapidated buildings; collectively mobilise; and advocated for better housing.
This is the first community practice note in the Social Movements Series, a new series of community practice notes which aims to document how different social movements and community-based networks advocate for socio-economic development for poor and vulnerable people in different contexts.
The launch will include a panel discussion with activists and representatives from various social movements and community-based networks, including Siyabonga Mahlangu (Inner City Federation), Bonga Zamisa (Social Justice Coalition), and Lukhanyo Madyibi and Neziwe Cekiso (both from Reclaim the City). Edward Molopi, a researcher at SERI, will also speak.