Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Unemployed People's Movement Press Statement
Makana Municipality Bans another March
Municipalities around the country are banning marches and supressing the right to protest. The Makana Municipality in Grahamstown is one of the worst offenders.
The year before last they illegally banned one of our marches on the grounds that one of our comrades was on a list provided by intelligence of people who are not allowed to address public gatherings unless the riot police are present. We had to go to court to march and when we did march riot police came from all over the Eastern Cape to monitor our comrade.
Last year they illegally banned one of our marches on the spurious grounds that ‘they were dealing with the issues we were raising’. It is obvious that a Municipality can’t decide whether or not they are dealing with the issues that people want to raise in a protest. It is the people that should decide this.
Now they have illegally banned our march, scheduled for tomorrow on the grounds that ‘the Mayor will not be available’. This is a totally bogus reason to ban a march that has no status in law.
The real reason why our march was banned is that the ANC and the Municipality are panicked about the alliance developed between UPM and SAMWU since last year. They have gone all out to divide municipal workers and the unemployed but there are strong personal and political connections between our organisations and our alliance is firm. We will continue to work together. We are aware this puts pressure on them, because the beneficiaries of this corrupt system don’t want the working class and the poor to unite.
This Municipality is bankrupt. In November workers did not get paid on time and were only paid a week after. Their provident funds and policies are not paid. Water remains a crisis. If people go to clinic because of running tummy, the nurses advice us to buy water. Isn't this a form of privatizing of water? Councillors are only allocating comrades and friend in houses. Eligible people are not placed, because they don't have connections. The mayor confirmed this last year in our meeting.
This municipality is a disgrace. We will not accept it.
Our struggle continues.
Ayanda Kota 078 625 6462
Xola Mali 072 2999 5253