Democracy From Below in South Africa: A Conversation with S’bu Zikode of Abahlali baseMjondolo

Title: Democracy From Below in South Africa: A Conversation with S’bu Zikode of Abahlali baseMjon
START DATE: Sunday November 21
TIME: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location Details:
Niebyl-Proctor Library, (Upstairs)
6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
Event Type: Speaker
Contact Name Jason Schultz
Email Address info [at]

S’bu Zikode, founding member and community intellectual from the Durban, South Africa organization Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers movement): will discuss the struggles of poor working people in South Africa. Begun in 2005, Abahlali challenges the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to provide housing and basic public services for all poor people throughout South Africa. This struggle has demonstrated the political and ideological contradictions of ANC officials; from national liberation heroes to ruling party embracing the ideology of neoliberal economic austerity to brutal effect for mostly poor black South Africans.

Abahlali baseMjondolo, like many other movements of poor people worldwide, brings a challenge from below to all ruling powers denying poor people basic humanity. Abahlali has crafted a democratic and anti-racist community struggle to all apparatuses of the racialized, capitalist post-Apartheid South African state; from the police, politicians and business elite, to supposed progressive academics and NGOs that try to “lead” this struggle. Fighting for a “right to the city” and public services, only to be met with police violence and active state neglect, the struggle of the shack dwellers in South Africa greatly mirrors that of working people and people of color in the Bay Area today.