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Community practice note on Inner City Federation

On 30 November 2018, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) launched its latest community practice note that examines the Inner City Federation (the Federation).

The note examines 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 Federation is 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 inner-city residents. It is the first self-organised group of low-income residents grounded in Johannesburg’s so-called ‘bad buildings’ that is challenging the lack of decent, affordable housing in the inner city in over a decade. 

The launch included inputs from Siyabonga Mahlangu (Inner City Federation), Bonga Zamisa (Social Justice Coalition), Lukhanyo Madyibi (Reclaim The City), Neziwe Cekiso (Reclaim The City), Edward Molopi (SERI) and Michael Clark (SERI). 

The launch was followed by a short workshop for community-based activists on collective mobilisation in inner-city contexts.

The publication is available for download from SERI’s website from 30 November 2018. 

Written by: SERI


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Sharing the common goal of promoting participatory, effective, accountable and pro-poor local governance, the network strives to provide an interface for civil society organisations to network and share information towards strengthening local democracy in South Africa.