Motsoaledi News No. 5: Phambili Motsoaledi Community Project/ ZACF, ca. October 2004

This version of Motsoaledi News (number 5, no date stated, but issued around October 2004) , was circulated on the internet.  No hard copy has been located. Earlier issues, for October 2003 (here) and December 2003 (here) were not numbered, so how they fit with “number 5” is not known, nor is frequency known. Notably this newsletter dates the start of the Phambili (Sometimes spelt ‘Phambele’ or ‘Phembile’) Motsoaledi Community Project (PCMP),  linked to the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (now Front; the ZACF) in “2002 around October.”

MOTSOALEDI NEWS No.5
Newsletter of the Phambili Motsoaledi Community Project (PCMP), Motsoaledi, Soweto (by Phillip Nyalungu, Black Action Group, ZACF)

WE CAN MAKE CHANGE

We the people of Motsoaledi; for so long we’ve been waiting. While other communities which came after us have electricity, houses and schools. The only thing we know: it’s promise after a promise. Everyone needs a normal life, family and neighborhood. But without basic needs it is impossible. Life without basic needs has no meaning. Basically this is an insult.

Thus our community is downtrodden. They only remember us when they need our votes. Today we are forgotten and we are only faced with crisis. At every atempt to make our ends meet. We are being uneccessarily attacked by misery.

This is a challange to all of us. There’s no person who can choose to suffer in this way, whether you voted or not. We all need to live healthy and happy lives.

EMPOWERING OUR MINDS

We are all aspirants within the system. It tells us to persevere and wait under this aguishing condition where it always makes us who get little or nothing to have an instictive sense of collective responsibilitity: sharing predicaments through various activities from social challenges such as food, education, housing, electricity and health.

We are always in the majority and lower class, because of the system we are brought up in, which makes us to expect the few intellectuals, professionals and mostly the petty capitalists – such group who typically get their way – thinking they will lead us across as Moses did with the children of Israel crossing the river.

Eventually these leaders exploit the situation, coming down with a completely self interested agenda: to get into power, and, automatically, the multi-corporations take control of basic services.

Where us the poor, we are left to rot because we don’t have any money to pay or buy shares. And we are the ones who marched and died on the streets, ready to see social revolution where there will be no rich or poor, all of us living equal: black, white, Indian and coloured.

Thus nothing much will come the way of the poor except by the poor themselves taking the lead. But for this lead, we need training. We must empower our minds with knowledge and wisdom. We are all teachers and have to take these initiatives ourselves. For so long we experienced the lies of the authorities and politicians.

Community-based structures are the best platoons to rely on for these challanges [sic.]. Every day must be a struggle to teach our children, grow our food, teach one another and make sure we are all happy and healthy.

Visible community networking must prevail.

DIRECT ACTION

As from the 20th September, child-care is starting again. This is non-profitable child-care based at the Community Library. Each child must have R2 to donate and must be clean. Parents who cannot afford the R2 must inform us beforehand. Every parent must fill in the form and bring it back before sending their child. Every member in the community is automatically welcomed to volunteer or support with money, old furniture, books, dishes, old blankets, soap and so on.

Every contribution – working, donation and ideas – will be recorded for future reference.

There are other activities taking place such as flim screening, open discussion, listening to music, playing soccer, gardening, studying and new ideas are encouraged. Consumption of alcoholic bevarages is not allowed during the activities or in the primises where activities are taking place.

Every thing is done on a voluntary basis. There’s no salary. There might be food if donated from businesses, friends, comrades, farm and community. The money from the child-care will be used to get the needs for the kids. And the money from the flim [sic.] screening will be used on the soccer team and other activities at the communal centre.

Become a member to make a difference in your community. We know you’ll like to do something when you are not happy about something. Come join for the sake of your soul: save yourself from being sad and unhappy.

We are co-operatives not competitors.

SOLIDARITY MEANS FREEDOM!

Dear comrades and friends

Phambili Motsoaledi Community Project is our project. It started in 2002 around October. Motsoaledi is the name of the community where we live.

The objectives of the project are: to bring everyone together; to stand for themselves, and; to challenge the immediate problems we are faced with. While we are doing this, we are confronting ourselves from within to be open and honest in everything we do.

It helps us to stay away from becoming despairing. Instead we stand positive and proud of who we are even though we are poor.

We humbly request you for any help you can offer. To make every atempt [sic.] possible.

Together in solidarity we shall conquer!

ps: This news letter is seculated [sic.] to every member in the community and is also translated into local languages.

Telephone: 072-216-9730 on weekends or evenings during the week. Ask for Phillip.

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About Lucien van der Walt

I teach at Rhodes University, the Eastern Cape. I’m South African, born and bred. I am currently also involved in union education and have a background in social movement and left-wing activism, the Workers’ Library and Museum, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, and the National Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU). I’ve presented papers at more than 120 conferences and workshops, published in key journals like 'Capital and Class' and 'Labor History', have co-edited 3 journal specials (these on global labour history, African labour, and unions in the Global South), and written well over 130 other articles, papers and entries. I was Southern Africa editor for the 2009 'International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Protest' (Blackwell). My focus has been on South Africa, but I have also done research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. I won the 2008 international 'Labor History' thesis prize, and the 2008/2009 Council for the Development of Social Science Research prize for best African dissertation, for my PhD thesis on South African anarchism, syndicalism and black militants. I have several books, including 'Negro e Vermelho: anarquismo, sindicalismo revolucionário e pessoas de cor na África Meridional nas décadas de 1880-1920,' 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution' (co-edited with Steve Hirsch, Brill, 2010/ 2014) and 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism' (co-written with Michael Schmidt, AK Press 2009).