Thursday, May 14, 2009

laws as misleading slogans

Abolish shantytowns! Sounds good as a slogan. But what it means in practice is being challenged in court in South Africa. The squatter organizing group Abahlali baseMjondolo argues that the KwaZulu-Natal Slums Act is little but cover for demolishing shack communities and forcibly relocating people without their consent, most often to less valuable spots on the urban periphery. This, of course, rips apart communities, pulls kids out of school, and makes it much more difficult, and costly, for workers to get to their jobs. The BBC has some details.

To find out more about the terrific work being done by Abahlali baseMjondolo, check out this excerpt from the new documentary, A Place in the City.

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