Victims of the devastating New Year’s Day fire in Khayelitsha BM Section in 2013, who have been living without electricity for three years, are to finally receive power this month, the City has announced.
The fire which tore through the informal settlement, resulted in three deaths and the destruction of 800 homes, with 331 homes allowed to be temporarily rebuilt on land next to the OR Tambo Hall on Mew Way, a short distance from BM Section.
Adopted in Kliptown in 1955, the Freedom Charter and its demands became a rallying point for many in the struggle against apartheid. Sixty one years later, the Charter has consistently been at the centre of key theoretical and political debates.
When Kliptown residents see different political parties flooding their area, informal settlement residents of the iconic Kliptown in the South of Johannesburg don’t need to look at their calendar to confirm that it is election season.
“The ANC came before democracy.” This statement by President Jacob Zuma was obviously incorrect since the concept of democracy pre-dated the formation of the ANC in 1912 by about 2,500 years.
It came to us from the ancient Greeks who also provided the term, taken from demos (people) and kratos (power). However Zuma did go on to explain that he meant his comment to apply to South Africa where the first non-racial parliamentary elections were staged 82 years after the birth of what became the ANC.
This, along with comments made at last week’s Cosatu congress, put the whole question of what democracy means into focus. At the same time, the media was again accused of misleading the voting public and so undermining both the ANC and its trade union partner.
But does universal adult suffrage — votes for all to a parliament — equal democracy? And is the media really able, to a large degree, to manipulate public opinion and, therefore, harm the trade union movement and the country?
The student strike at Wits University gained momentum when the vice chancellor and his executive deadlocked in negotiations with maybe 2,000 students in the occupied Senate House (renamed Solomon Mahlangu House) over a fee hike of 10.5% for next year.