Organising in the times of COVID 19: Abahlali baseMjondolo

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Interview with S’bu Zikode, founder of Abahlali baseMjondolo about situation of COVID-19 on the day that lock-down began.


Comment (1)

Michael Neocosmos
Michael Neocosmos
March 30, 2020

Firoze you must stress that the municipality has denied poor communities basic services on purpose, precisely in order to force them to leave. They are living on very expensive real estate so local government is not even prepared to take Abahlali seriously. Because they are also seen as in opposition the the dominant ANC, the state party. Sb’u is absolutely right. It is a matter of political will. In fact the poor are under threat of eviction, what used to be called “forced removals” under apartheid, now they call it de-congestion or words to that effect. It may be that the state (either national or local) may use the excuse of ‘social distancing” in order to forcibly relocate people to places where they cannot make a living. Without increased testing (much like a census) the lockdown is very unlikely to work in poor areas. On the contrary as S’bu says hunger and starvation is likely to take place because people cannot move.

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