Sunday, March 22, 2009

South Africa: Community occupies RDP houses in Alexandra

It's finally happened; after years of a culture of callousness by the ANC government, towards the working class, the frustrations of the working class has burst its banks. Government policy means that the current 7.5 million people without housing, will always remain homeless. The latest budget delivered in February this year does not even plan to build enough houses to cater for population growth. In Alexandra the situation has been particularly acute- cholera outbreaks, children electrocuted by open power cables, houses for bribes, houses for some while the majority remain homeless, are on the order of the day. Now, the people of Alexandra, fed up with years of broken promises, have taken their fate into their own hands. At this very moment they have occupied hundreds of vacant RDP homes to express their simple demand: HOUSES FOR ALL! DOWN WITH CORRUPTION!
For years the city council has evicted families from the vacant factories they had occupied, without giving any alternative accomodation. For years, RDP homes were allocated to government officials; many government officials even own RDP houses.
The community is determined to stand firm in the occupied houses. Winter is aproaching and for many it is the choice of life, or death from pneumonia, TB or cholera. The community refuses to die in silence. The contrast with the luscious, super-rich Sandton, which borders Alexandra, could not have been more stark. The government supports capitalist development in Sandton and in billions of Rands for stadiums for a 2 week spectacle (2010 world cup) but neglects the very constituency that they are now begging to vote for them. The ANC sits on the boards of the major banks that are all evicting the poor from their homes, all in the name of the god of profit. The ANC is co-responsible for the slow pace of housing which keeps housing prices artificially high, so that the banks can profit.
for comment on the scene: Lewinsky Booi ph 0733967005 or call 0781297797

Shaheed Mahomed
Workers International Vanguard League
1st Floor, Community House
41 Salt River rd
Salt River
South Africa
ph 0822020617
fax 0880214476777

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