Cape Town

On the politics of protest in Cape Town

Jared Sacks on popular protest, disruption, and violence in South Africa in the wake of the Lonmin Massacre.

The City of Cape Town is currently being rocked by a spate of road blockades and other significant protests. Certain liberal NGOs have joined the DA in condemning the protests claiming that they are violent and motivated by political party agendas.

Blikkiesdorp photo gallery

Symphony Way - the central site of resistence to forced removal to Blikkiesdorp

Blikkiesdorp (i.e. 'tin can town) is one of a number of 'Temporary Relocation Areas', concentration camps, set up to house the urban poor in Cape Town. There are similar abominations in Johannesburg and Durban. This photo gallery has some pictures of Blikkiesdorp as well as the Symphony Way Occupation - which held out against eviction to Blikkiesdorp for many months before being defeated.

Cape Town: Attempt to occupy Rondebosch Common

Yesterday more than forty people were arrested in a major police operation to prevent the occupation of the Rondebosch Common in an elite suburb of Cape Town - the most unequal city in South Africa, which has now surpassed Brazil as the most unequal country in the world.

We “invaded” Rondebosch Common…but only the police destroyed the fynbos.

Statement by those who occupied the common

We did our best. We had everything stacked against us.

Anarchism and syndicalism in an African port city: the revolutionary traditions of Cape Town's multiracial working class, 1904-1931

A paper by Lucien van der Walt examining the development of anarchism and syndicalism in Cape Town, South Africa in the early twentieth century and the then pioneering multiracial and determinedly internationalist stance of those anti-authoritarians involved.

The Cape Town model, state violence and military urbanism


A Mike Davis style analysis of Cape Town, South Africa's most unequal city, from a libertarian perspective There are more photographs here.

Lead by the pugnacious Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance is South Africa’s official opposition party and the governing party of the Western Cape, the only one of nine national provinces not under the control of the ruling ANC.

Two Reports from Occupy South Africa

Two reports from Occupy South Africa from a libertarian perspective.

Occupy Cape Town

Jared Sacks

About 200 Cape Town residents participated in the call for a "World Revolution Day" on October 15, inspired by the growing worldwide Occupy movement. We arrived at the Company Gardens next to Parliament in typical Capetonian fashion: mostly late, disjointed, and with a huge array of goals and personal agendas for the first day.

The Land belongs to the People: The Government of Cape Town Violates the Rights of the Poor

Carmen Ludwig on the struggle from Cape Town - appropriation from below and repression from above.

Even 17 years after the end of the apartheid regime the majority of South Africans are living in the world’s most unequal country and are still fighting a daily struggle for the realisation of their constitutional rights.

The Politic of Land & Housing

This is the full text of a talk given by S'bu Zikode to a group of students from the University of Chicago at the University of Cape Town today. Zikode is the leader of Abahlali baseMjondolo, a militant but very thoughtful, creative and democratic squatters' movement which is the largest social movement to have emerged in post-apartheid South Africa.

Friday 11 February, 2011

I have been asked to speak on the politic of land and housing in our cities. I only get these invitations because of the strength of the movement of which I am part and so, on behalf of Abahlali baseMjondolo, I thank the University of Chicago Civilization program for this platform.

South African Communist Party Attacks Road Blockades as 'anarchist and reactionary'

Abahlali baseMjondolo Road Blockade in Cape Town

The South African Communist Party (SACP), long considered one of the most Stalinist Communist Parties anywhere, has joined the liberal NGOs in their attempt to rally public opinion against a two week long wave of popular protest in Cape Town that has included numerous road blockades and some damage to state property. The SACP statement, and a reply from Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, are both reproduced here.

The Statement from the South African Communist Party

Blockading Public Roads is anarchy and reactionary

Cape Town housing activist's trial begins

Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, is scheduled to stand trial on the charge of public violence on Tuesday 29 September 2009.

The charge relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. He has written this essay on 'public violence' in response to the charges levelled against him.

Public Violence

by Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape