Joe Slovo Park

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Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park is located in Western Cape
Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park is located in South Africa
Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park is located in Africa
Joe Slovo Park
Joe Slovo Park
 Joe Slovo Park shown within Western Cape
Coordinates: 33°52′27″S 18°30′38″E / 33.87417°S 18.51056°E / -33.87417; 18.51056Coordinates: 33°52′27″S 18°30′38″E / 33.87417°S 18.51056°E / -33.87417; 18.51056
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
Municipality City of Cape Town
 • Total 0.25 km2 (0.10 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 12,629
 • Density 51,000/km2 (130,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 95.2%
 • Coloured 3.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.1%
 • White 0.1%
 • Other 1.3%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Xhosa 66.3%
 • Afrikaans 4.3%
 • English 3.8%
 • Sotho 2.4%
 • Other 23.2%
Postal code (street) 6665

Joe Slovo Park is a suburb of Cape Town, located between Milnerton and Montague Gardens.


Joe Slovo Park is a small township which was designed to replace the shack settlement of Marconi Beam with an orderly working-class suburb. However it is now barely distinguishable from the informal settlement it was meant to replace.[2]

One section of Joe Slovo Park is known as Mshini Wam, named after the struggle song Umshini wami which was often sung by Jacob Zuma in the run up to his election as president. It was founded in 2006 when it was erected in an open space ringed by formal RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses. Mshini Wam was plagued by fire and flooding. A re-blocking process was started in 2012 which will provide access to emergency services.[3][4][5]

It was named after Joe Slovo, the anti-apartheid activist and former South African Minister of Housing.

It is not to be mistaken with Joe Slovo (in Langa, Cape Town).

Geographic Distribution[edit]

A typical shack in Joe Slovo Park. Photographed 2013

It is a mixture of fixed houses and shacks next to Montague Gardens in Milnerton.

Joe Slovo Park is near Canal Walk an upmarket shopping centre[6] among some of the areas found in Milnerton.


There is great pressure from people wanting to build structures on open pieces of land. In October 2012 this led to protests when the City's Land Anti-Invasion Unit arrived to pull down structures built on city owned land. [7]

Again in March 2014 residents of Joe Slovo Park started building an informal settlement on an open piece of land on Freedom Way in front of the Assemblies of God church and Sinenjongo high school.

The City of Cape Town had successfully applied for an interdict to prevent further structures being built on this land and when people refused to move the police arrived and dismantled the structures.

Later that day the affected community gathered and anger boiled over. The Assemblies of God church was petrol bombed as it was assumed that they were the ones who ordered the demolition. Threats were also made against the principal of Sinenjongo high school, Mrs Nopote. A series of meetings was subsequently held to clarify the situation.

Structures have subsequently been rebuilt and this piece of land is now fully occupied by shacks. [8][9]


a woman in her shack home washing clothes by hand in a plastic container. This is typical in Joe Slovo Park

It does not have many service providers or facilities.


It has two schools of which one of them is a secondary school Sinenjongo High School and the other is a primary school Marconi Beam.

The nearest local library is almost a kilometre away from it, the Milnerton Library.

Health care services[edit]

The nearest health-care service providers are Elbow-Gardens Clinic (public clinic) in Brooklyn Milnerton which is about 4 kilometres away and Medi-Clinic in Milpark Milnerton (private hospital) which is about 800 metres away.

Safety and security[edit]

There are many street dogs in Joe Slovo Park

Some of the houses have security protection from security companies. However the vast majority depends on the local police's intervention. There is an almost 24/7 police patrol service for the community.

There is no police station. The nearest police station, a kilometre away in Milnerton. There is also no fire-brigade station except for the neighbouring Milnerton Fire Station.

Utilities and Government Offices[edit]

There is a community hall in Joe Slovo Park. A colourful mural was painted on the wall next to the hall on Mandela Day 18 July 2013.[10]

There is a Municipal office close to Joe Slovo Park; it is near the Milnerton Library.

Photo Gallery[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sub Place Joe Slovo Park". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ JSTOR 355670
  3. ^ "No more white elephants: Mshini Wam community architects assisted by University of Botswana planning students". South African SDI Alliance. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Preparation Phase Website". Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  5. ^ Charlton Ziervogel (2012-07-13). "Re-designing the city one shack cluster at a time". Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  6. ^ digitalpro. "Blog | Fives Futbol Corporate League Launches". Century City. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  7. ^ "Residents protest against shack demolitions". West Cape News. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  8. ^ "City acts to protect land in Joe Slovo Park earmarked for development". Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  9. ^ "Joe Slovo Fires". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  10. ^ "Rainbow Nation Mandela Day wall painting project part 2". YouTube. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2014-06-14.