The SJC works to advance the constitutional rights to life, dignity, equality, freedom and safety in the lives of all people, but especially those living in informal settlements in South Africa.
Founded on 16 June 2008, the SJC is a membership-based social movement made up of 17 branches across Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Crossroads, and Gugulethu in Cape Town. With over 2500 members mainly living in informal settlements, our campaigns are based on research, education, and advocacy and divided across two programmes. The Local Government Programme leads our organising for the rights of informal settlement residents to dignity, equality, and justice. The Safety and Justice Programme leads our campaigns to ensure all people have access to a democratic and effective police and criminal justice system.
South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world and our cities remain deeply segregated. Informal households, mostly located on urban peripheries, make up around 20% of each of South Africa’s major cities. Informal settlements suffer from high levels of unemployment, poor service delivery, and violent crime. They continue to be treated as temporary and transitory by those in government, even though many have existed for decades.