13 May 2016
ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO PRESS STATEMENT
Seven Wards to Protest Against Mining in Mbizana on Monday
On Monday the 16th of May 2016, Abahlali baseZilalini Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, who are part of Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement SA, will hold a protest march which will start at Bulala Sports Ground at 08:00 am and proceed to the Rumdel Construction premises at Pele Pele Bus Stop where the officials from Rumdel Construction, representatives from the Department of Public Works and representatives from the Mbizana Municipality are expected to receive a memorandum of demands.
The protest march is a follow up to the march that was held earlier this year on the 23rd of February of which the residents have not received any response from the above mentioned authorities. Seven wards from the Mbizane Municipality will gather to participate on this protest march.
Among other issues pertained in the memorandum of demands is the mining of the crush stone and the construction of the R61 road from Umthavuna to Bizana without the consultation of the local residents. As a result the residents find themselves not benefiting out of this project. This is another project to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The other concern from the residents are the issues of nepotism, corruption and bribery from those who want to be employed in the construction of the road. In some cases it is alleged that women have to exchange employment for sex in order to get some work on this project. There is also another concern that the committee that was organised by Inkosi uJongamampondo and that initiated the construction of the R61 road is not a legitimate committee
The above form part of the demands that are in the memorandum of Abahlali baseZilalini. Abahlali baseMjondolo as a movement is fully in support of what Abahlali baseZilalini are fighting for. The land and wealth of this country must be returned to the people. There must be nothing for any community without that community. There must be no corruption and nepotism.
Due to the experiences that Abahli baseMjondolo has had over ten years of struggle we know that it is common practice by government and the private sector not to allow full participation of communities in the making of decisions about projects and or developments that affects their lives directly.
It is the same thing that is happening in the Northern Kwazulu-Natal where the mining does not benefit the local people either directly or indirectly. It is the duty of every person to voice out their concern in a peaceful way. It is the duty of every authority to listen to the people and to obey the people. If the authorities do not listen to or if the authorities prefer to lie to the people and to shut the doors of negotiations in the face of the people that is when the situation becomes ugly.
We call on every progressive movement to support this protest especially those who fight against the corruption that ensures that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. More than ever we need to fight against the capital and the predatory forces in the state that continue to oppress the impoverished and marginalised.
We struggle for a world in which land, wealth cities and power are shared. We struggle for a work in which the dignity of all people is respected.
Thokozani Mthwane 063 8828 642
Phumlani Diya 078 398 1046
Thapelo Mohapi 0761 861 884
Thembani Ngongoma 078 528 0810