Black working-class still denied their rights

Mabhelandile Twani, Intlungu Yasematyotobmbeni

Intlungu is a social movement, established in 2020, during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was started by the unemployed, people from backyards, people on the housing database, people who have been retrenched from work due to Covid 19, people who have been working a few (less) hours, and people who have been evicted from bond houses and flats and from rental houses.

Intlungu YaseMatyotyombemi Movement represents about 24 occupations that took land during Covid-19 in and outside Khayelitsha, its conception took place in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The movement has observed fire events that took place recently, on December 26 2022, where three people died.

On January 7, at SST, a fire took place during the night, and about 192 people are without homes.

According to the Department of Human Settlements, about 12 million people desperately need decent accommodation. While in Cape Town more than 365 000 people are waiting for houses before Covid-19 hit. Some seven years ago we faced the same fire situation, about 300 people lost everything.

Intlungu says people residing in shacks is not their own choice and solution; it is because the South African government and the City of Cape Town have acted against the black working-class.

They have adopted neo-liberal policies that seek to undermine people’s basic services such as water, electricity, housing, and so on. Hence, more shacks are built every day, and it is not the fault of the black working-class but a housing crisis that both the national government and the City of Cape Town have created.

The only people to be blamed are the City of Cape Town and the national government for torturing and attacking the working-class for so long. Again, they have been coming up with false and cheap solutions to the housing crisis – building temporal shacks and putting people, for years, again in small shacks.

This attack is designed and made to reduce black people’s dignity. These places called “temporals” have undermined the Constitution of this country.

When it’s black people who reside in temporary arrangements there are no issues. The City of Cape Town is no different from the Apartheid government; it still treats black people as animals. The attitude of this City is not changing.

Intlungu is encouraging more black working-class organisations to take action that will confront the City of Cape Town and the national government on the housing issue.

We call on all social movements to unite and reject the neo-liberal capitalist framework, which deprives the black working-class of the right to life.