South Africa, Durban: The recent floods in Durban hit the poor the hardest. Many people lost their homes, or had their homes and possessions badly damaged. Some people lost their lives.
To be poor in South Africa means that you must constantly live with fire, floods and armed and violent evictions and disconnections. You can never really relax. There is constant worry and stress. There is no holiday in the shacks.
Our movement does not only struggle for land and struggle to force the government to provide services to occupied land. We also work to develop mutual aid and support. Over the years we have built and run creches, community halls and vegetable gardens, visited the sick, supported families and communities with organising dignified funerals, organised safe and non-commodified access to water, electricity and even sometimes sanitation, and supported comrades who have lost their homes in fires, floods and government attacks.
Today we will be visiting Ekukhanyeni and New City in Marianhill to support comrades who lost their homes in the recent floods with materials to rebuild and groceries.
We are denied support from the Disaster Management department in the eThekwini Municipality despite the fact that the poor are always the worst affected in all disasters. A large amount of money has been released by the National Treasury in the name of the poor but we get nothing. When our members approach Disaster Management they are referred to useless and harassing councillors – the same councillors that deny any development to people who are not ANC members, who demand bribes for access to development, who organise evictions, who threaten us and, in some cases, are the ones who organise assassinations.
We would like to note our appreciation for the solidarity for people affected by the floods that was received from Norwegian People’s Aid,
An injury to one is an injury to all.
Abahlali baseMjondolo, May 4, 2019
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