The Unemployed People’s Movement and the Women’s Social Forum March for Toilets this Friday

On Friday the Unemployed People’s Movement & the Women’s Social Forum will be marching, in Grahamstown, for toilets, electricity and housing. Toilets are an important issue for the safety and dignity of our people. It is an absolute disgrace that all these years after democracy so many of our people have inadequate toilets or no toilets at all. It is a clear sign of the contempt with which the predatory that has captured the state treats the poor.

The demand for toilets has been central to the protests and struggles of popular movements around the country. The reason for this is that toilets are a matter of basic human dignity as well as safety in terms of both health and the risk that women without toilets face will looking for safe places to relieve themselves in the night.

Here in Grahamstown our comrades in the shacks have no toilets at all. Other comrades have those toilets that are supposed to be cleaned out twice a week. But they are left uncleaned for weeks with the result that they begin to smell, to overflow, to become infested with insects and to become unusable. The result is that many people that have access to toilets on paper do not have access to toilets in reality.

The Makana Municipality has not been negotiating on this issue in good faith. They continue to insult our dignity day after day. Therefore we will be marching on them once again. Our main demand is for toilets but we will also raise the issue of electricity and housing.

We invite all those journalists that continue to say that our struggle, and all the other protests and struggle around the country are driven by disgruntled members of the ANC with their eyes on party lists and tenders, to come and relieve themselves where we relieve ourselves. They will soon see that it is the material conditions of our lives that have given rise to our movements. The movements of the poor are genuine movements with genuine issues.

The SABC television programme Cutting Edge has been here in Grahamstown this week. They are making a programme about the disgraceful situation that the Makana Municipality has put us in. Their programme will be screened next Thursday at 9:90 p.m. on SABC 1.

We held a mass meeting last night and the position of the people is clear. Toilets are a matter of basic human dignity and we will defend our dignity.

The march will start on Ragland Road at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to the Town Hall. Everyone who supports our demand for toilets for all is welcome to join us.

Kwanele! Kwanele!
Genoeg is genoeg!

For more information contact:

Xola Mali
Unemployed People’s Movement
Mobile: 072 299 5253

Ayanda Kota
Unemployed People’s Movement
Mobile: 078 625 6462

Nosigqibo Saxujwa
Women’s Social Forum
Mobile: 079 107 9596

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Date published: 
Thursday, 7 April, 2011
Unemployed People’s Movement

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