Ayanda Kota

We have the vote but the political parties do not represent the aspirations of the people, writes Ayanda Kota, founder of the Unemployed People’s Movement.


The president's address to the Makana Local Football Association, Zondani Townhall, Grahamstown, Saturday 9 June 2012.

There are at least four million young people without jobs in South Africa. This is the country’s worst crisis, yet some people still say that the ANC has done well with the economy.

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‘Like the formation of the Black Consciousness Movement did in the 1970s, we need to unite in our own space, define our own struggle and politics, and shake the barricades of neo-liberalism.’


As the world celebrates with the ANC, they have put up a pretty convincing picture of freedom while everywhere people are broken by the burdens of poverty. Where is the people’s celebration?


South Africa’s ANC Youth League ‘might speak in the name of the poor to advance its agenda but everyone knows that it is not a poor people’s organisation’ despite media portrayals of Julius Malema as a champion of the country’s oppressed, writes Ayanda Kota.

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The ‘old woman stopped for a moment, looked at me, a smile crawling out of her mouth. Yet I could see the tears making the way through the corners of the eyelids. I then stopped and stared at her. She made a sound, trying to remove a lump in her throat and finally broke the silence. She said “Vote ANC, Vote for Better Life, Vote for Heaven and Vote for Jesus. Better life in heaven indeed not under ANC”.’

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'We have no freedom to celebrate today. We live in a radically unjust society…Until everyone’s voice counts equally we cannot say that we are free’, the Unemployed People’s Movement writes from Grahamstown, in a statement to mark South Africa’s ‘Freedom Day’ on 27 April.

Julius Malema’s distortion of history, says Ayanda Kota, ‘is a key characteristic of authoritarian regimes'. The 'fact that the ANC has now descended to this level,' Kota adds, 'is a very serious warning sign about where this country is going.’ While the call for nationalisation in...read more