Shutdown Movement shuts down?

2018-11-06 06:01

The Shutdown Movement galvanised hundreds of residents in recent months to take to the streets and demand better service delivery from the government.

Police had their hands full as residents in areas including Kensington, Bonteheuwel and Manenberg attempted a total shutdown, blockading roads with burning tyres and other objects.

Across the country, thousands of residents also hit the streets.

However, there seems to be uncertainty as to the current state of the movement in local circles.

People’s Post has learned that activists from KenFac, Manenberg and Aylesbury met on Tuesday 30 October to reflect on the state of the Shutdown Movement, especially the different views held on the state of the local communities and what needs to be done to bring about change.

According to a statement from one of the organisers, Mario Wanza, some within the movement feel that the change must come within the current party political system whilst others hold the view that they (the people) must take responsibility for the state of their communities, restore their culture of saamstaan and restore their indigenous way of living through building people’s power.

The statement goes on to say that at a workshop held in Bonteheuwel last month, representatives from Manenberg were told to “stop referring to our indigenous culture and colonialism as this is not the place for it”.

“Manenberg was given an ultimatum to comply or be kicked out. Freedom Park objected to the ultimatum and decided to leave, and Aylesbury and Manenberg also walked out.

“Two days later the Shutdown Movement assigned a representative from Langa and Nyanga to meet with Manenberg, Aylesbury and Freedom Park. The aggrieved communities reflected on the request from the representatives that they should return and later submitted a response indicating the communities’ willingness to return. To date there has been no response from the Shutdown Movement,” the statement reads.

It says KenFac, the initiators of the Shutdown Movement, have similarly voiced their displeasure at the way the movement is operating as it is not building unity of purpose.

“KenFac also requires of the Shutdown Movement to stop operating in its name as KenFac was instrumental in starting the shutdown initiative.”

Meanwhile, KenFac, Manenberg, Freedom Park and Aylesbury have agreed to work together in rebuilding the social and economic fibre of their communities.

The spokesperson for KenFac had not responded to questions by the time of going to print.

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