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social housing rental at Steenvilla: R550 per month for 1 bed, R1250 for 2 bed

This petition had 483 supporters

This petition is addressed to President Ramaphosa and the Parliament of South Africa. We ask for the social housing rental at Steenvilla in Cape Town, South Africa, to be immediately reduced to R550 per month for 1 bed, R1250 for 2 bed for those who cannot afford the current rental, and for all forced removals to be stopped. Our plea is based on the following:

1. The purpose of a “social housing initiative” is to provide housing to those who are otherwise unable to afford it. Expecting a stable monthly rental income contribution of up to R3300 and evicting residents who are unable to keep up, deviates from its initial purpose of providing for the disadvantaged sectors of society.

2. Corporations are operating outside the Constitution of the Sovereign State of South Africa. The supreme law in South Africa states that corporations must work towards a more equal society. However, they have been doing the very opposite since 1994 - paying employees far below what constitutes as a living wage. This is resulting in a discrete continuation of oppression, with the government idly standing by and watching. South African citizens in recent decades have suffered ballooning food and rent prices along with stagnating wages. The corporate minimum wage of R20 per hour (2 US$), has had an insignificant increase during the same time period. The financial struggle of residents does not seem to flow over to South African corporations who see continued growth in annual profit. Those who are evicting Steenvilla residents are not taking into account how stagnant wages have not kept up with increasing rent.

3. We are demanding that the money flow at Steenvilla be investigated and any profiteering be recouped to fund housing in areas like Marikana in Cape Town and/or go towards potential ownership based on what has been contributed by residents thus far.
Should there be a shortfall in our calculation of how much it would cost per month to manage Steenvilla, we ask Government to collect that shortfall from the corporations that have exploited the residents at Steenvilla since 1994.
What is transpiring at Steenvilla has been named by us “The Financial Areas Act”, as it is illegal under our Constitution. Forced removal of disadvantaged women and children must be treated as crime against humanity. 
Sohco, the Not for Profit Organisation who manages Steenvilla, is forcefully removing 30 families due to a combined outstanding rental which is a small fraction of what Sohco is spending on attorneys, the sheriff, red ants and a private army to intimidate and get residents to leave. It is suspected that the funds Sohco is using to evict the residents are the very funds that were generated from the Steenvilla rental payments.
Community Leaders at Steenvilla have been working tirelessly for the past 2 years, fighting against the eviction of Steenvilla residents. 

To reiterate, reducing the rent at Steenvilla would still garner significant funds to manage the complex AND would provide for the desperately needed housing needs of many families who are otherwise unable to afford to reside in formal housing, through no fault of their own. By allowing families to be evicted from Steenvilla, we are complicit in a society that could do the same to us or people close to us.

The media is painting the matter as being about unpaid rent rather than about human rights. Please sign the petition to help change the narrative and restore the dignity of the Steenvilla residents who face eviction.

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