Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Episode 4: Shack Dwellers a Threat to the Cup

Download: MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis [2:57 minutes]


ABAHLALI baseMjondolo (ABM) will set up shacks outside Cape Town’s stadium on the eve of the World Cup to show the world how they live.

ABM deputy chairperson Mthobeli Zona told Sowetan: “We know the government will send the police to beat us in front of the media … and the whole world will know about our struggles.

“We live in dirty and smelling places. We have no jobs. We live shameful lives. There are no toilets here. There is no electricity. We have to pay R20 a month or 50c a day to use other people’s toilets,” he said.

Zona said the government should have used the money they spent on the Gautrain and Bus Rapid Transit system to “relocate shack dwellers to dry areas. What we don’t want is to be moved to Temporary Relocation Areas (TRAs).

“The government should put their cats and dogs in TRAs. They make us sick,” he said.

Another resident in Khayelitsha’s QQ Section, Nobantu Goniwe, said she would join the demonstration.

Having lived in QQ Section for the past 10 years, Goniwe complained that many people got tuberculosis because of the “hard living conditions.”

She complained that when Premier Helen Zille visited the area in winter when it was flooded, she wore gumboots.

“We live here and we don’t have gumboots. I just wish we could swap places with her,” Goniwe said.

She said the World Cup was not going to bring changes to their community where unemployment and crime were rife.

Teenagers Azola Zadunge, Thembinkosi Mdumela, and Mananga Mzubongile said they were excited about the World Cup and would watch the games at the Khayelitsha fan park. They said the World Cup had not benefited any youth in their community.

City of Cape Town spokesperson Pieter Cronjé said they would not let anyone put up a shack.

“The area around the stadium is already under security. It will be regrettable if people use the World Cup to air their grievances” he said.

a version of this article written by Francis Hweshe originally appeared in the Sowetan