S'bu Zikode

The state has failed the poor in South Africa. Now they must organize themselves and demand an equal place in society, even when this is very difficult. It means that they must survive repression


'Loyalty to political parties and to those who try to privatise the history of the struggle against apartheid for themselves becomes a very serious threat to the poor in a top-down system of governance,' writes S'bu Zikode, president of South African shackdwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo. 'But loyalty has also been the source of our survival. Loyalty is fundamental to the strength that we build in our families and with our friends, our movements and our communities … Our loyalty shoul...read more

© abahlali.org

The power of the poor becomes evident when the poor are able to organise – a moment of great promise, but also danger, S’bu Zikode told an audience in the United States recently.

© abhlali.org

Land and housing are the most urgent problems in South Africa’s cities, writes S’bu Zikode, but as long as the country pretends that the issue of land is technical and not political, it will not be resolved. The real struggle, says Zikode, is to ‘put the human being at the centre of our society, starting with the most dispossessed, who are the homeless.’

© Ahahlali.org

Following the attacks and deaths of Abahali baseMjondolo members at the hands of African National Congress (ANC) members at Kennedy Road, S'bu Zikode condemns developments that amount to an attack on South Africa's democracy itself and requests support from other civil society groups.

© Abahlali baseMjondolo

S'bu Zikode, elected head of South African shackdwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, looks at some of the barriers that prevent meaningful engagement between the state and the people, with reference to Abahlali’s experiences in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Cape. Abahlali representatives Mnikelo Ndabankulu and Zodwa Nsibande will be speaking at

© In an interview with S’bu Zikode, Richard Pithouse questions the president of South Africa's Abahlali baseMjondolo shackdwellers’ movement about his understanding of a living politics and the considerable struggles faced by the movement. Zikode, the elected leader of the group, discusses the core importance of looking to ordinary pe...read more

http://www.pambazuka.org/images/articles/322/43547.jpgS’bu Zikode of Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban recalls the peaceful march by residents on the 28th September which ended with the local police attacking demonstrators with batons, rubber bullets, fire cannons and the arrest of 15 Sydenham residents. He raises the questions, “do the poor have a right to life, a right to speak a...read more

The Shack dwellers in South Africa are one of the most marginalized communities, criminalised for being poor. Yet it is they who more often than not suffer from crime along with continued police harassment. These two factors have brought the shack dwellers of Durban together to fight the crime in their communities, says S'bu Zikode.

The poor were not born to be poor. We didn't become poor because we are lazy or stupid. In fact we have to work very hard and be very clever just to find a...read more