VUKA MOTSOALEDI CONCERNED RESIDENTS, Motsoaledi anarchists, August 2005

Produced by the key writer in the Black Action Group (affiliate of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation – now the Front – or ZACF) and the Phambile Motsoaledi Community Project (PCMP). Unknown at this stage if this was published in Motsoaledi News or Vuka Motsoaledi or elsewhere, in this or revised form.  The “MCR” to which reference is made is the Motsoaledi Concerned Residents – a community protest group linked to the  ZACF and the PCMP, of which more here and here. Dated 25 August 2005.


Soon is the local government elections. Since the ANC government came into power we’ve only experienced empty promises.  Many people are unemployed and losing their jobs. Those who do work are paid peanuts and their future is uncertain. They only work as casuals on a contract basis, which means at any time you can lose your job without any benefits.

In recent months we’ve seen a number of strikes and demonstrations by workers. Municipal workers were among them and they are members of the trade union called SAMWU. These people are our brothers, sisters, parents and friends. They live and stay with us here in the community.

The government has been privatising basic services, while ignoring the interests of the people. This privatisation makes the workers in the government institutions victims of contractors, ripping their lives, families and communities apart.

The land is still in the hands of the white people. Only 2.8% of land was given back to the people and 80% of the land is still in the hands of the whites.  In 1994, the ANC government promised 30% of the land will be given back to the people in 5 years.  It is now 11 years since they came into power, but only 2.8% of the land has been given back.

Recently Mbeki has been visiting the communities around the country particularly because of the protests and demonstrations which come from the frustration and anger of the people.  These visits are his strategy to regain the confidence of the people and to campaign for the ANC in the coming local government elections.


MCR has made attempts to take our community problems to the ward councillor, MEC and the cabinet minister.  Until today we haven’t received any response from any of these guys. The ward councillor has been very disrespectful and he has claimed that we are just a small group.  He has failed to respond to anything the community has demanded from his office.

These are the same people who came into our communities during the past elections.  They promised us houses, schools, a library, electricity, water, sanitation, safety, better health and jobs.  Now the local elections have arrived again after they have totally failed to implement even one of these promises.

For 12 years we are still staying in shacks with no title deeds at least to prove we own the land.  None of the promises mentioned above have ever been implemented.



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,' and '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).