18 May 2011 – War on Want
With South Africa’s local government elections underway today, 18 May 2011, shack dwellers across the country are expected not to pass their ballot. 17 years since the end of apartheid many say they are still not feeling the benefits of democracy.
War on Want’s partners Abahlali baseMjondoloWestern Cape (AbM-WC), Abahlali baseMjondolo KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) launched campaigns of ‘No land! No house! No water! No electricity! No jobs! No vote!’, and ‘No Dignity, No Vote’ to raise awareness on the plight of shack dwellers and poor communities. AEC used the occasion to launch the anthology ‘No Land, No House, No Vote: Voices fromSymphony Way’, in which shack dwellers themselves describe their lives.
Recognising the fact politicians often make empty promises to gain mass appeal and votes, the organisations are encouraging shack dwellers across the country to withhold their vote unless any of the political parties commit to honouring their promises of providing basic services such as water, electricity and housing to poor communities.
Tired of empty promises, AbM-WC, AbM-KZN and AEC hope that the reduced number of voters at polling stations will send a strong message to politicians that communities will no longer support any political party that does not prioritise the needs of poor communities.