BUILDING PROTEST FROM BELOW
Authors: Lebo Malebo & Tebza Mokgope
Aluta Continua- the struggle continues in most parts of the world and locally. It is with this background that as Tsakane can proudly report that our struggle for a better South Africa continues. For the past nine months we have been engaging in mass actions and public meetings to force government to deliver on promises.
Our issues have been around One stand One Family, Decent Houses, Electricity, Better Roads and Clinics that operate 24 hours. Our struggle started in one section of the township and has rapidly spread to other sections of the township. Lately we have been able to attract comrades from neighbouring townships such as Kwa-Thema.
As our base grows so has been our issues- we are now adding worker issues such as fighting retrenchments at Union Carriage and Pension fund reform on our list of campaign.
We organised another mass action on the Monday the 20th October 2014. Some 700 people marched to the Tsakane Customer Care Centre to hand over a memorandum to the MEC of Economic Development and Finance. Even though our numbers were very small the spirit was very high as people toyi- toyed for the duration of the march.
We were able to get contacts from more areas and school students. If we had not done anything- it would have taken us months to get those contacts. The two MEC’s that were supposed to receive the memorandum never pitched – a sign of how those in power are arrogant and don’t take the community seriously. They also play political games and feel that they legitimise our organization if they make themselves available.
This once again shows how little government heads take into consideration the wishes of people in the community. On TV government act sugary sweet, they try and make us believe that they are very caring and democratic, but the reality is something very different.
The community and its leadership decided to hang on to the memorandum and come back with more numbers the following day. In the meetings that were organised on Monday afternoon- it emerged that another area had already applied for a march on similar issues for Wednesday 22 October. We therefore agreed to work together and make Wednesday bigger and it just happened like that- within a day we were able to triple numbers that we had on Monday, so we had close to 2000 people. This really built everyone’s spirit and new alliances were built in struggle.
We see the offices of Economic and Development as responsible for jobs creation and for an increase in expenditure on basic services. The Finance department needs to raise funds as it did during the 2010 world cup to fund our needs.
The notion that government has limited funds is a lie; it only has no money for us the poor. Millions are spend every year on useless project such as E-tolls, Nuclear and salaries of ministers. Let them cut their salaries and tax the rich to address our demands of decent houses and 1 million climate Jobs. .
We are active in building the United Front for the Movement For Socialism on the ground. We are building each other’s militancy and confidence to ensure that the movement becomes a reality.