Friday, 17 February 2017
Abahlali press statement
Abahlali to Launch its First Village in Bizana, Eastern Cape
For more than ten years we have waged a struggle for land, housing and dignity in the cities. Our struggle in the cities has often been influenced by ideas and practices from rural areas and struggles. From time to time our comrades have taken some of the ideas and practices of the movement back to rural villages and rural struggles.
On Sunday we will launch our first village in Bizana in the Eastern Cape. For some time we have been part of the solidarity work undertaken to reject corruption, nepotism, and the theft of the land by black capital monopoly in Bizana. In early 2016 Abahlali supported the march by Bizana Abahlali baseZilalini against unfair business practices by Ramdel, a construction company contracted to build a road. The local community was not consulted on the project and job opportunities were denied to local communities. Among those employed there were strong allegations of bribery, sexism and nepotism.
The local Bizana authority failed the local community. The stone mining machines were operated against the knowledge of the local traditional authorities. Human remains were dug as the stones were stolen to construct the road. Efforts were made by the community to engage the contractor and the local municipality only to be ignored. Some pensioners reported that they are unable to receive their grants and that they are often disrespected while they have to wait in the queues for long hours.
We all know the eXolobeni mining project that has resulted to the assassination of comrade Bhazuka. We had an opportunity to also meet with comrades from Qhawukeni late last year. We also met with the Amadiba Crisis Committee. In that meeting we also agreed to work in solidarity with each other. These comrades will also be part of our launch this Sunday.
Abahlali has noted that there is a lot of Abahlali comrades working and staying in KwaZulu-Natal who have also supported the move to have an Abahlali presence in the Eastern Cape. We will be launching at B16, KwaMzize Village under Chief Makhosini comprising of six wards. Ward 17, Ward 18, Ward 20, Ward 22, Ward 23 and Ward 29.
The launch will take place on Sunday, 19 February at KwaMzize, B16 from 10:00am to 1pm
Mzwakhe Mdlalose Abahlali National Organiser 079 365 7912
Thapelo Mohapi Abahlali General Secretary 062 892 5323
Fano Mathumbu Interim Local Organiser 078 761 7288