Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Putting people above politicians

S'bu Zikode, president of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a movement that arose in Foreman Road and other squatter communities in Durban, South Africa, writes eloquently of his country's discrimination against the poor. From The Mercury newspaper.

His critique: 'the government, other organisations and academics speak about the poor all the time but so few want to speak to the poor.'

His solution: 'Poverty and neglect by the state have thrown us together in our shack settlements and from that togetherness we have become strong. The politics of the strong poor is anti-party politics. Our politics is not to put someone in an office. Our politics is to put our people above that office.'

His hope: 'I am optimistic that the "will" of the poor will soon be done because the poor are the majority of this country and the majority is beginning to speak for itself.'

1 comment:

e-tat said...

This is an off-topic question, for which I apologise, but perhaps it is relevant to the wider spirit of your work. A student has posed a question along the lines of 'are squatter cities sustainable?'

I don't have any answers, nor any ready-to-use information on that topic, but also thought that it's an interesting enough question to pose here, and see what kinds of responses it evokes.