Sunday, September 07, 2008
An astounding figure: on average, there are ten fires a day in squatter communities throughout South Africa. This fact comes from "Big Devil Politics," an important new report by Abahlali baseMjondolo, the squatter-run community organization that started in Durban. To understand these fires, Abahlali writes, you have to understand this: "Shack fires are not acts of God. They are the result of political choices." The report is necessary reading, written with contained fury. It is an indictment of the policies that have led to hundreds of deaths in South Africa's squatter communities every year.