City-wide Summit on Land, Housing and Dignity

Friday, May 23, 2014

Abahlali baseMjondolo press statement


City-wide Summit on Land, Housing and Dignity


The politic of land, housing and dignity remain a huge crisis in our country.

We are seeing a lot of lands every day of our lives but each time we ask for a

land we are told there is no land.


Our city mayor calls himself a communist but we ask what kind of a communist

does not believe in an equal distribution of land in the city? We ask what

kind of a communist sends the notorious Land Invasion Unit to destroy the

shacks that we call home and drive us off the land we have occupied? The very

same politicians that tell us that the problem is that land remains in the

hands of the few mostly white farmers send the blue and the red ants to

illegally destroy our homes and drive us off the land we have occupied. These

same politicians are making us landless. If it wasn't for our movement,

thousands of us would have been made homeless, landless and destitute in our

own city, in our own country.


Our communist mayor supports these evictions. He supports the repression of

our struggles. He says nothing when we are killed, shot, beaten and jailed

defending a land occupation. It is clear that this government will not resolve

the land question from above. It is clear that it will have to be resolved by

struggle from below.


This weekend Abahlali will be deliberating on the question of land, housing

and dignity.


Our struggle is a land struggle before it is a housing struggle. We are clear

that there will be no landlord or messiah that will deliver land or have all

answers pertaining to land but ourselves. We are clear that it is sinister to

be landless and homeless in a country that has produced multi-millionaires in

this sector. We are clear that it is unreasonable to buy land that already

belongs to you. We are clear that state land is our own land. We have been

very clear that the social value of land must come before its commercial

value. We are clear that land occupations are a form of land reform carried

out from below. We are clear that without land and without decent housing our

dignity is compromised. We are clear that without dignity our citizenry and

humanity is at risk. We are clear that if we continuing to pretend as if

politicians will one day come up with one size fit all solution we will be

self-deceiving. And yes, we are clear that one day our children and our next

generation will put a blame on us if this question of land is not resolved

now. It is upon this reason that we thought we should take the bull by its



Twenty seven Abahlali branches are participating in the summit and will each

send five delegates. We will have speakers from our own movement.  We will

also have speakers and participants from the Landless People's Movement-KZN.

We will have also have speakers from churches and an input from progressive

intellectuals. We will have serious discussions in commission with the hope

that the light of better understanding will give us strength to struggle more.

Venue: Surat Hindu Building Association (Denis Hurly Hall) Prince Edward

Street, Durban.


Time: 10:00a.m. – 17:00 p.m. Saturday, 24 May and 9:00 a.m. – 12:00, Sunday,

25 May 2014




MaMkhize Nxumalo 078 4332719

T.J. Ngongoma 084 6139772

Zandile Nsibande 074 7675706