Masses will rise again, say poo protest leaders

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Copy of ca p8 Seskhona DONE INLSA People rampage down Adderley Street during an earlier march by Seskhona Peoples Rights Movement. Photo: Willem Law

Cape Town - Leaders of the Ses’khona Peoples Rights Movement say they are set to intensify their campaign for land, housing and proper sanitation, but this time they plan to boycott major banks linked to evictions of the poor.

Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla are forging ahead with plans for a series of monthly protest marches for better services to the poor.

Promising that the “masses will rise again”, the pair said they would mobilise residents from across the Peninsula’s racial divide to take to the streets by June 27.

And they are calling for land owned by the national, provincial and local governments to be released to the poor “without delay”.

Lili said the first winter rains were already wreaking havoc in townships.

“As we speak people’s shacks are flooded, children are left cold, wet and hungry, and living in unhygienic conditions. Those are the people we represent, not political parties but the poorest of the poor, who have been forgotten by this provincial government.”

Nkohla said they were applying for a permit to march next month but expected opposition from the city.

“We will be marching to town, and we are not going to hand over any memorandums this time around. Now we want answers from Helen Zille, because absolutely nothing has happened since our last march.”

The movement was denied several applications to march in the city centre after a march last October saw looters grabbing goods from stalls and shops.

Lili said that they wanted the people of Cape Town, irrespective of their race or social standing, to understand the plight of the poor, who were victims of shack fires in summer and flooding in winter. “We will continue this fight for as long as the City of Cape Town and the provincial government continue to refuse land to the poor.”

Lili said they had lost hope in Zille’s cabinet.

“We are not expecting anything from the the city and the provincial government, that is just a talk show.

“We wanted to engage with them peacefully but they refused. There’s no way the current government in the province can improve the living conditions of the poor.”

Despite the provincial government’s strategic plans for housing, Lili predicted that little would improve.

“Their mentality is that black people are coming from Transkei and do not belong here. They are protecting their world.”

Describing Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela as “a powerless puppet”, Lili said: “They are all controlled by the premier. The city and the province belongs to Zille.”

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Cape Argus

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