The languages of xenophobia in post-apartheid South Africa: Reviewing migrancy, foreignness, and solidarity
by Camalita Naicker, Agenda: Feminist Magazine
This open forum piece argues that the language and discourse of xenophobia is a shared experience among people who are seen and constructed as being from ‘elsewhere’ in four different provinces in South Africa. It suggests that use of xenophobic discourse and language, the precarious nature of living conditions, labour conditions and restricted access to citizenship rights from the State, are experienced by all people who are categorised as ‘migrants’
internally, and those described as ‘foreigners’ or ‘refugees’ by Government officials.
What this open forum piece will also show is that the Pan-Africanism and collective ideas of freedom, struggle and resistance or ‘bonds of solidarity’ among migrant labourers, both from other countries as well as the former Bantustans during the struggles against apartheid, should not be confined to a nostalgic past, but seen as very much present in South Africa today. This solidarity is perhaps not so much about a shared history of struggle against colonialism and apartheid, although this too may be extant, but is rather informed by a shared present
where some are seen as citizens with freedom of movement and access to services from the State, while others are excluded. The notion of citizenship, then, becomes refracted, not merely through the making of the new categories of ‘foreigners’ through labour migration, but also through deeply raced and classed discourses which inform who is viewed as a migrant and who is not.
This chapter provides an account of some of the contestation around a landoccupation in Cato Manor, Durban. It shows that none of the actors aspiring toexercise control – party structures, the local state, the courts, NGOs and popularorganisations – were, in the period under study, able to exercise full control over thepeople or territory in question. It also shows that actually existing forms of contestationfrequently operated outside the limits established by liberal democratic arrangements
The Struggle for Human Dignity Continues in the Shadow of Death
Life is always difficult in the shacks. If you are poor and black you can be killed with impunity. But it is not only the politicians and their izinkabi, or the police or private security companies that take our lives. We live in life threatening conditions every day. We die in the fires, from disease, drugs and crime. Our children die from diarrhoea. Our neighbours die because the roads next to the settlements are not made safe for pedestrians. The economy excludes us. The development of the cities excludes us. We are denied access to land, electricity, water, housing, education and work. We are also denied the right to participate in the discussions about the future of our society and in decision making about our lives and communities. Continue reading →
Monday, August 12, 2013
Abahlali baseMjondolo Sweet Home Farm Branch Press Statement
Abahlali baseMjondolo to March on Mayor de Lille on Wednesday
Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape is tired of the waiting system from the government. The Western Cape has turned to be a spaza shop, where the DA comes and shop for votes while we are left with empty promises.
The leading party in the Province does not have any humanity. Its only delivery is to demolish our homes, leaving us homeless in the rain. When they comes to shop for their votes they act like we are people who count, and they know that we are in ward areas. After the voting is finished we are called unknown people and we treated like people that don't count to this city.
Marikana comes for surprise protest at “Open Streets”
Members of Abahlali baseMarikana have come to Observatory in Cape Town
to occupy and participate in a surprise protest at the Open Streets
initiative which is backed up by the City of Cape Town. Open Streets
aims to promote use of roads and public space for people and without
cars. They are encouraging bicycle use, roller skating, etc. But we
think that Open Streets should mean more than that. We think we need
an open city that is open to the poor, that provides the poor with
land and housing. We therefore are coming to disrupt the exclusion of
Open Streets to tell everyone of the Closed City we live in.
The City of Cape Town which supports Open Streets, does not support an
Open City. We the poor are excluded. Our homes are destroyed by the
Anti-Land Invasion Unit, we are evicted from empty public land that is
meant to be shared with us, we are beaten by the police that protect
the rich and we are left without a roof over our heads. Our protest
today is to claim the city. This is why, today, we are moving our
Marikana settlement to the streets of observatory so the privileged
classes participating in Open Streets can see how we are forced to
live by the government that they support
There can only be really open streets if the city is open too.
For comment, contact Sbu @ 0603147788 and Cindy @ 0760866690 and Vusi
@ 0839571102 Or just find us on Lower Main Road in Observatory after