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The poor clashing with the poor over electricity in Soweto

category southern africa | community struggles | non-anarchist press author Wednesday May 26, 2010 14:45author by Kerwin Datu Report this post to the editors

While residents in the Soweto suburb of Protea South clash with shack dwellers over electricity, members of the Landless Peoples Movement are urging both sides to rise above infighting and unite against a government which has failed to provide sufficient services throughout the past sixteen years.

The Poor Peoples Alliance is an alternative shack dweller federation comprising movements in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. Its members are increasingly at loggerheads with the South African government and with some more established slum dweller federations operating in the country, as we reported here and here on its sister organisation, Abahlali baseMjondolo. It arose out of frustration that the usual channels of government and the NGO community in South Africa had failed to deliver much real change to large numbers of the urban poor.

The Landless Peoples Movement (LPM), the Gauteng arm of the alliance, reported that on the evening of Sunday, 23 May, a group of men attempted to burn down the shack of its chairperson, Maureen Mnisi, in the informal settlement of Protea South.

It coincided with attacks made by five men armed with guns and a machete on the shack of another LPM member and supporter of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, and reports of men roaming the informal settlement, disconnecting electricity lines feeding the shacks and clashing with shack dwellers until midnight. Two people were shot; one died and the other was hospitalised.

The LPM believes the violence is the work of people residing in bond houses in the area. Bond house residents have been clamouring for the shack dwellers to be evicted in order to push up the value of their houses, using electricity disconnections to exert pressure on the shack dwellers. LPM has been resisting these moves, organising reconnections as the need arises, and believes its engagement is the reason for the attack.

Nevertheless one LPM member, Bongani Xezwi, wants shack dwellers and bond house residents to avoid recriminations and identify the common enemy. He argues that both sides should work together to fight the government which he blames for failing to provide sufficient electricity services to the whole community throughout "16 years of democracy". In an open letter, he wrote that "the people with the electricity ... are sitting in their government offices and they are not even seeing the need of giving services."

"Let us make the government to leave their offices and come to address the issue of electricity in Protea South and other poor communities," his letter continued.

As Eyewitness News reported, LPM's ally, Abahlali baseMjondolo, plans to build a shack settlement outside the main stadium in Cape Town during the World Cup to draw international attention to the problems of the urban poor.

Related Link: http://globalurbanist.com/2010/05/25/the-poor-clashing-....aspx

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Thu 31 Jul, 13:26

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460_0___30_0_0_0_0_0_zacfront_symbol.jpg imageLandless militants and shack-dwellers under attack in Soweto 17:42 Mon 24 May by Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 2 comments

The following is an urgent communication issued in solidarity with the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) and other shack-dwellers of Protea South, Soweto. It is based on information obtained by telephonic and face-to-face conversations held with LPM members following violent attacks against them last night. There still seems to be confusion, however, and details are sketchy. Updates on the situation will be made available as and when they are received, as will be any factual corrections.
[Français]

textCPFs: Eyes and Fists of State Oppression 17:42 Wed 11 Mar by Jon 0 comments

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) is angered by the killing of a second working class activist youth by the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in Sebokeng in less than a year.

In July of last year Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) activist Mathafeni Majobe was killed by members of the CPF after partaking in a service delivery protest in Sebokeng. This time the victim was Teboho “Diventsha” Tsotetsi, who was stabbed to death in front of his parents on Wednesday 4 March by members of the CPF for refusing to withdraw charges he had laid against those same CPF patrollers, who had severely beaten him and stolen his cell phone and wallet the previous Friday.

textZACF Statement of Solidarity with Sebokeng Community Struggle 22:30 Wed 15 Aug by Jonathan 3 comments

On Tuesday morning, 14th of August, over 1000 community members from Sebokeng's "informal settlement" attempted to blockade the Golden Highway between Sebokeng and Johannesburg in protest at the ANC government's inadequate service delivery since its election in 1994.

The police arrived in numbers and fired randomly at the community members, allegedly with live ammunition, seriously injuring 6 people and injuring others, including small children.

textCollective bargaining by riot: election day in South Africa (2006) 16:40 Fri 09 Feb by Michael Schmidt, Johannesburg 2 comments

A field report on a trip transsecting South Africa's industrial heartland and its outlying small towns on municipal election day 2006 - and an examination of who actually wields municipal power in the country - from the ZACF journal Zabalaza #7.

textJohannesburg, Anarchist arrested in Motsoledi 19:41 Wed 28 Sep by via A-Infos 1 comments

An anarchist member of the Sowetan Motsoledi Concerned Residents Association (MCRA) was arrested 2 weeks ago following an open discussion with a local ward councillor.

imageSouth Africa: Activists Demand End to Misappropriation of Funds and Wasteful Expenditure Jan 09 by Mzee 0 comments

Once we stop thinking as individuals and start thinking as a working class group, change will become possible.

Our country’s conditions have gotten worse and worse in many ways. There is corruption, inequality and limited freedom for the masses. Someone has to stand up and say “Enough is enough! We need better education, more jobs and people-driven development plans.”

We are calling for change now!

imageThe Struggle at Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng Jan 04 by Siyabulela Hulu 0 comments

In September 2002, residents of Kwa-Masisa Hostel in Sebokeng faced evictions by the so-called new and private owners. They resisted and won. But since then, the hostel has been abandoned to its fate. Today the struggle for secure tenure, decent conditions and control continues.

imageWake Up the Power of the Working Class and Poor Dec 10 by Lucien van der Walt 0 comments

Our country is in a mess. Hunger, poverty, exploitation and injustice stalk the land.

The working class and poor face, at every step, the high walls of injustice, the chains of unemployment, and the bullets and batons of the police.

Conflicts shake the country, and hopes that shone in 1994 are fading, rusting under the waters of greed, oppression, and inequality; those hopes seem like a dream that fades when you awake to a grim reality.

imageStop Evictions, Stop the State, Defend the Working Class and Poor Nov 29 by Pitso Mompe 0 comments

Forced evictions are a violation of human rights that requires urgent global attention. In 2008 between 30 and 50 million people in 70 countries worldwide lived under constant threat of being forcibly evicted (according to the International Alliance of Inhabitants). Those that are most affected are working class people and peasants living in poverty. It’s always the poor who are evicted.

imageThe System of Voting for Leaders is Killing Us Jun 16 by Lekhetho Mtetwa 0 comments

It is clear that the rights of the working class and poor people on the ground are not recognised by those in power, and will never be. After the 1994 elections, ordinary people thought that they will feel and enjoy real democracy. But to their surprise, things didn’t work the way they thought. People are being demoralised, threatened and killed when they stand up. It is now difficult for people to exercise their democratic rights.

It’s clear that voting won’t bring any change in people’s lives. The whole system is run by a small ruling class. Voting does not change the system. By voting we are just fooling ourselves about our rights. People voted in 1994 because they thought their votes will bring complete changes in their lives. No one thought of suffering after voting in the first elections. Promises were made by so-called leaders in order to be voted into power. Their promises were a big lie.

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imageLandless militants and shack-dwellers under attack in Soweto May 24 ZACF 2 comments

The following is an urgent communication issued in solidarity with the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM) and other shack-dwellers of Protea South, Soweto. It is based on information obtained by telephonic and face-to-face conversations held with LPM members following violent attacks against them last night. There still seems to be confusion, however, and details are sketchy. Updates on the situation will be made available as and when they are received, as will be any factual corrections.
[Français]

textCPFs: Eyes and Fists of State Oppression Mar 11 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front 0 comments

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) is angered by the killing of a second working class activist youth by the Community Policing Forum (CPF) in Sebokeng in less than a year.

In July of last year Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) activist Mathafeni Majobe was killed by members of the CPF after partaking in a service delivery protest in Sebokeng. This time the victim was Teboho “Diventsha” Tsotetsi, who was stabbed to death in front of his parents on Wednesday 4 March by members of the CPF for refusing to withdraw charges he had laid against those same CPF patrollers, who had severely beaten him and stolen his cell phone and wallet the previous Friday.

textZACF Statement of Solidarity with Sebokeng Community Struggle Aug 15 Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation 3 comments

On Tuesday morning, 14th of August, over 1000 community members from Sebokeng's "informal settlement" attempted to blockade the Golden Highway between Sebokeng and Johannesburg in protest at the ANC government's inadequate service delivery since its election in 1994.

The police arrived in numbers and fired randomly at the community members, allegedly with live ammunition, seriously injuring 6 people and injuring others, including small children.

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