5 May 2014

South Africa: GroundUp - Why Abahlali Endorsed the DA - S'bu Zikode Speaks


On 2 May 2014 Abahlali Basemjondolo (ABM) - a social movement of shack dwellers - endorsed the Democratic Alliance (DA) for the 2014 general elections. Abahlali baseMjondolo are better known for their protests against unlawful evictions and their advocacy for public housing and urban land for the poor. S'bu Zikode, leader of the movement, agreed to an interview to lay bare why they took this decision. By Sibusiso Tshabalala for GROUNDUP.

GroundUp (GU): Abahlali's politics are fundamentally different to that of the DA. Why did you decide to endorse the DA?

S'bu Zikode (SZ): We [ABM members] have suffered under the ANC's rule. The ANC has consistently demonstrated that it lacks the political will to take the issues of the poor seriously. Being a shack dweller is similar to being imprisoned. The only difference is that a prison sentence can be short-lived, but when you're poor and have no guarantee of upward mobility, living in a shack can be a life sentence. How long should we, the poor, be confined to this shack sentence?

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