Category Archives: S’bu Zikode

Challenges of Internationalism, Solidarity and Integration of Peoples

Challenges of Internationalism, Solidarity and Integration of Peoples

– Address by S’bu Zikode to the People’s BRICS meeting in Brasilia, 12 November 2019

Thank you Programme Director. May I take this opportunity to thank the International Secretariat for creating this space for us. I see this space as an instrument full of possibilities and hope for a better world, a world that we want and for which we are all prepared to fight. May I also thank all comrades from Pan Africa Today who have always counted us, the uncounted, in this difficult journey for a world we want, a world in which we all live like human beings.

In recent years we have had a close and important relationship with the MST, the movement of the landless here in Brazil, and many of our comrades have travelled to Brazil to spend time with the MST, and to participate in the MST political school. Our struggles to put the social value of land before its commercial value have much in common. We deeply appreciate the solidarity from the MST and our movement shares in your joy at the release of Lula. Continue reading

25 years of democracy has been paid in blood

Last night S’bu Zikode spoke in parliament, in Cape Town, at the Constitutional Dialogue organised by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the National Foundations Dialogue Initiative (NFDI) and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) at an event organised to discuss how the key values under-pining the Constitution (human dignity, the achievement of equality, advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racialism, and non-sexism) can be realised.

Other speakers included Professor Barney Pityana, a former leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, and Edwin Cameron, a former judge on the Constitutional Court.

This is the text of the speech given by S’bu Zikode.

24 October 2019
25 years of democracy has been paid in blood

A talk given by S’bu Zikode at the National Foundations Dialogue Initiative, Cape Town Parliament

There is no doubt that in 1994 we all had high hopes in the political leadership of a black majority government in our country. Many promises were made and many promises were broken. Many people who came to work for government decided to work to enrich themselves. We were shocked to realise that impoverished communities on the ground just became voting specialists. Many of us started to organise communities to build unity and enabling environment for government to deliver to its promises. We did not just fold our arms and waited for hand outs. We registered NPOs and ran drop in centres, early child development centres. We ran community gardens and feeding schemes and worked with local business to feed and find employment for our communities. We remained passionate and patriotic to our communities and to our country. While we worked hard to democratise our settlements. We committed ourselves to the project of nation building as envisaged by Nelson Mandela and others. We were inspired by the values of our constitutional democracy and held our flag so high. Continue reading

Urban Shack Settlements as a Site of Struggle

Urban Shack Settlements as a Site of Struggle

A talk given at the ‘Urban activism: Staking Claims in the 21 Century City’ conference at Harvard University on 13 September 2019.

S’bu Zikode

I am very honoured and humbled to be invited here at Harvard University to speak on Urban Activism. I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies who have invited me, and made it possible for organised shack dwellers in South Africa to be represented at this prestigious platform. I am also grateful to Abahlali baseMjondolo for entrusting me to speak here, and with this excellent opportunity for our movement.

When we take our place in our society we take it humble but firm. Today we take it here at Harvard. Just as we occupy land we also try to occupy our place in all discussions that are relevant to us and our lives.  Continue reading

Housing the homeless while enduring brutal oppression: the story of shack-dwellers movement in S. Africa

The People’s Dispatch

In a recent interview given to the Tricontinental Institute, the movement’s founder, S’bu Zikode, explained the origin of the movement, its modus operandi and the enormous challenges its members and leadership are facing

December 18, 2018 by Pavan Kulkarni

In the face of police brutality, targeted assassinations, death threats and criminalization, the shack-dwellers movement of South Africa – known locally as Abahlali baseMjondolo – has been at the forefront of pursuing the unfinished task of correcting the ills of the apartheid state, at the core of which is the land-question. Continue reading

Dossier 11: The Homemade Politics of Abahlali baseMjondolo, South Africa’s Shack Dweller Movement

The TriContinental

The shack-dwellers’ movement– Abahlali baseMjondolo, or AbM— is among the organizations of the world’s poor and dispossessed fighting for land reform and dignity. Despite waves of repression by the state, AbM membership now numbers over 50,000 in settlements across the country since their founding in 2006. In an interview with Tricontinental Institute, Zikode talks about the essence of AbM—what they are fighting for, who they are, what they have achieved, and what we can learn from them.



Dossier 11