Category Archives: Mbongiseni Maseko

City Vision: QQ Section in ’Litsha takes up tools

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10/07/2008 09:57 AM – (SA)
QQ Section in ’Litsha takes up tools
MBONGISENI MASEKO

THE hall was packed on Saturday when the community of QQ Section in Khayelitsha launched their organisation called Abahlali baseMjondolo, the South African shack dwellers’ movement.

Abahlali was established in Durban, early in 2005. Abahlali have democratised the governance of many settlements, stopped evictions in a number of settlements, won access to schools, stopped the industrial development of the land promised to Kennedy Road, forced numerous government officials, offices and projects to “come down to the people” and mounted vigorous challenges to the uncritical assumption of a right to lead the local struggles of the poor in the name of a privileged access to the global movement, according to a statement.

QQ is taking the lead to drive a movement in the Western Cape. The aim is to be independent from anyone.

The QQ community decided to unfold their hands to meet their challenges and collected five rands from each house in the area to build the crèche and and to get the toilet which is just outside the crèche. The community raised about nine thousand rand with this plan.

Mzonke Poni who was re-elected as a Western Cape chairman said: “We did not want to rely on government, because the government failed to give houses to people, toilets and other things. So we thought of coming up with alternatives.”

The crèche which is a shack is not yet completed, but they hope that it will be fully operating by August. They need people who are going to volunteer even for an hour a day to help the kids to learn something while they are at the centre.

Poni, talking about the crèche, said: “We do not want the kids to eat bread and butter, but to eat a proper meal. We hope the donations will help. It does not take a family to raise a child, but the community.”

The movement does not have funds but they think that they can do it on their own.

Mnikelo Ndabankulu, a National Public Officer said: “These is our houses. Akuyona imikhukhu (they are not shacks). That is what we can afford. Let us call it disadvantaged settlement. When we march, we do not ask for the permission from the officials, but we just inform them about the gathering. There is no such a thing like legal or illegal marches. The police just fight the people who are not fighting. It is because they do not have something to do. God should not bless them.”

The movement is registered as a community based organisation.

It has a target of six poor students to get learnerships at universities every year.