Tuesday, April 07, 2009

South Africa: 12 Arrests at Alexandra

Tonight, police arrested 12 residents of the River Park RDP houses for allegedly breaching an interdict. The interdict, issued on 22 April 2008, is clearly out of date and refers to people unknown to the current residents. The police are using this outdated interdict to intimidate the residents to vacate the houses. The 12 residents are currently being held at the Sandringham police station and may later be moved to the Norwood cells.

The ANC has refused to outline to the residents and the people of Alexandra when housing will be provided to all of them. This is the core of the issue. At the drop of a hat, billions can be made available to build 2010 stadiums for a 2 week circus, but when it comes to the basic demands of the working class, the ANC has only excuses.

The recently released findings from StatsSA show that while the birth rate is constant at 1,3 million per annum, the number of people dying every year has gone up from 400 000 to 600 000. The number of children dying before the age of 5 has virtually doubled over the past 5 years from 35 000 to 60 000 per year. From 1999 to 2005 the number of deaths from poverty sicknesses/diseases has increased from 1 in 5 to 1 in 4 (flu, pneumonia, TB, Aids and stomach infection). While the ANC government may have built 1 million RDP dwellings over the past 5 years, the number shacks have increased by 600 000 in the same period. The 3 million housing backlog is getting bigger and the ANC government has no plans to end homelessness.

Their claim to abolish slums is a cruel lie. The ANC expects the working class to die in silence, while they allow the big capitalists to continue to take home record profits (R700 billion last year). For this plunder of the working class the ANC elite and Cosatu and SACP leaders share in the 'broad-based empowerment' schemes. They have been bought off for a few peanuts while workers are retrenched en masse, workers remain homeless and starving due to high food prices.

Well, the working class refuses to die in silence. The community of Alexandra has announced that they will not be voting in the coming elections. They demand the immediate release of the 12 residents. The central demand remains: DECENT HOUSES FOR ALL!

For comment on the latest developments ph Freda Dlamini ph 0743520141
or ph Thabo Modisane ph 0781297797

Shaheed Mahomed, Secretary, Workers International Vanguard League
1st Floor, Community House, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River, South Africa, 7925
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