The AEC alerts Whitey Jacobs to corruption in Mandela Park

22 04 2009
Outrage as Mandela Park homes are given to ‘outsiders’
April 20, 2009 Edition 1
Quinton Mtyala

SOME of the people of Mandela Park in Khayelitsha have promised they will resist a plan to move in the legal beneficiaries of a controversial housing project in the area.

Yesterday, Housing and Local Government MEC Whitey Jacobs had to cut short his visit to the area to welcome the new beneficiaries, as local and backyard residents chanted slogans and vowed not to back down from their “struggle” for housing.

Residents claim that people from the area were supposed to make up 30 percent of the beneficiaries of the 1 823 housing units planned.

Those protesting the handover said they would not be accommodated in the units that had yet to be completed as these had been earmarked for people from other areas.

A large police contingent ensured that a crowd of almost 300 people, many of them backyard tenants, were kept away from Jacobs as he inspected some of the completed houses.

Jacobs said afterwards that when he took over the portfolio in August, he was alerted to problems in Mandela Park by beneficiaries and by the Anti-Eviction Campaign, whose members had illegally occupied the units. Read the rest of this entry »

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Media: Election boycott in Alexandria

22 04 2009

South Africa: Stolen ballots discovered amid Protests
Wednesday 22 April 2009, by Sakhile Modise
(this is an excerpt of a longer article)


Protests

Meanwhile, a group of about 300 protesters gathered at River Park in Alexandra, Johannesburg before dawn this morning.

Reports say they are all residents of a nearby squatter camp, and embarked on a protest against a lack of housing.

The toyi-toying crowd stood on an embankment on London Road, chanting “No house, no vote”.

Community leader Thabo Modisan is quoted saying people were not happy about the election and refused to vote until they got houses.

“We have been waiting since 1994 and we are still living in shacks. We were promised basic services and have not received them, and that is why we are boycotting the election,” he said.

Police, while stationed a distance away, were observing and ensuring that the peaceful protest did not get out of hand.





KZN: 60 landless people arrested

22 04 2009

22 April 2009
Source: The Sowetan

Police yesterday arrested 60 members of the Landless People’s Movement as they threatened to stage a sleep-in at the Department of Land Affairs offices in Pietermaritzburg.

They demanded to meet senior politicians, including ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize and Minister of Agriculture Lulu Xingwana.

The protesters said they were fed up with the “abuse being meted against farm dwellers”. They have threatened not to vote today.

The protesters occupied the department’s offices at about 11am yesterday and were ordered by the police to vacate the premises but in vain.

The activists were arrested and taken to Loop Street police station where they were charged with a number of offences including obstruction, refusing to disperse and for gathering illegally, said police spokesperson Henry Budhram.

They have been released on a summons with an option to pay admission of guilt fines of R100 each. – Mhlaba Memela





Jozi: Protesters refuse to vote

22 04 2009
April 22 2009 at 07:55AM
By Anna Cox
Source: IOL

A group of about 300 protesters gathered at River Park in Alexandra before dawn this morning. They are all residents of a nearby squatter camp, and embarked on a protest against a lack of housing.  The toyi-toying crowd stood on an embankment on London Road, chanting “No house, no vote”.

Community leader Thabo Modisan said people were not happy about the election and refused to vote until they got houses.

“We have been waiting since 1994 and we are still living in shacks. We were promised basic services and have not received them, and that is why we are boycotting the election,” he said.

Police, while stationed a distance away, were observing and ensuring that the peaceful protest did not get out of hand.

The Johannesburg College of Education’s Alexandra campus, one of the polling stations, has not opened on time.





2009 political party checklist on the issues – Why we won’t vote

22 04 2009

Official release of AEC election document

Activists from the Western Campaign Anti-Eviction Campaign have created the following checklist to clear things up a bit for people who are considering whether or not to vote in this year’s elections.

AEC’s political party checklist on the issues.pdf

The issues profiled in the document:

  • Privatisation
  • Land reform and land occupations
  • Participation through direct democracy
  • Ending unemployment
  • Housing

Party politics is notorious for obscuring the important issues in favour of fear-mongering, coming up with vague slogans such as ‘hope’ and ‘change’, and focusing on the personal lives of other party’s leaders.  The goal in creating this document is to take on the issues that matter most to poor communities and to show exactly where the political parties stand.

While only being released to the media on election day, it has already been used for a number of weeks as part of our No Land! No House! No Vote! Campaign and has already had an impact on activists throughout our communities.  The refusal of Delft residents to vote is a clear sign that AEC communities are looking past party politics and directly at issues such as participation, privatisation and how to get rid of the housing backlog.

The Anti-Eviction Campaign maintains that the key statistic to look at pending the outcome of today’s election is not what percentage of the national vote the ANC gets.  Rather, when all is said and done, the question to ask is what percentage of the voting age population actually supports the ANC.  While the ANC won almost 70% of the vote in the 2004 elections (giving it a super-majority in parliament), only 58% of those who could vote actually did so and just 38% of the entire voting population voted for the ANC.

Choosing not to vote is not apathy.  It is us, as the poor, flexing our muscle and saying: what have your parties ever done for us? We will change South Africa in spite of you!

For comment please call Ashraf at 076 186 1408





Statement of support fo the election boycott by ICAN (Tafelsig)

22 04 2009

22 April, 2009

We as the Independent Community Action Network hereby forward our position on the 2009 Elections:

We will definitely boycott the coming elections as they are bourgeoisie elections. None of the parties in this election represent our needs as the poor and the working class masses of this country. We will not partake in an election to choose a new oppressor, a new custodian of capital, a new guardian of poverty.

As ICAN, we will seek to engage with the masses in terms of their needs. By participating in organisational building, we do not need your vote, rather, we need you to partake in ‘action’ to free us all. Participatory democracy is a necessary in order to achieve freedom for all. We fully support our comrades in the Anti-Eviction Campaign and we support their No Land! No House! No Vote! Campaign. Read the rest of this entry »