Soundz of the South: Why our townships are hell

Why our townships are hell
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Townships came into existence under the apartheid regime, and black people were forced to live in them. Services to the townships were appalling, under apartheid most never even had electricity. Housing and schooling was also deliberately bad. This all formed part of the racist apartheid capitalist system that was built to exploit black people as extremely cheap labour.

Little has changed in the townships since 1994. This is because township residents are still exploited. All that has happened is that a small group of powerful black people, like the Ramaphosa’s, Zuma’s and the Mandela’s, have joined the white capitalists in the ruling class to exploit the majority of people. So everyday the rich and politicians steal from us and take our money by making us work as wage slaves, by keeping us unemployed, by selling us electricity and water, and by turning basic services and houses into products to make money out of us.

In Khayelitsha water, which is needed to live, is now sold to make money. The City, under both the DA and ANC, have cut peoples’ water off when the free lifeline is finished. This means no money, no water! But you need water to live! The same applies to Eskom and electricity. We have to pay for this, or we get cut-off. The result, people who can’t pay have to use paraffin to cook etc., which is dangerous and results in shack fires and death. But do the rich and politicians care? NO they don’t. All they do is use capitalism and the state to try steal from us and smash us when we complain.

If you want a house, even an RDP one, you need money and loans from the banks. You spend your whole life paying these off – working to make the banks rich. Even the RDP houses are used by local business people, through local construction companies, to make profits. To cut costs they build poor quality houses that end up cracking and falling apart. Housing should be something that everyone should have; not something to make money from or for only people who can afford it.

When we protest against this unjust system, the state comes through the police, and they shoot rubber bullets at us and arrest us. We saw what they did to Andries Tatane and the workers and Marikana. The Progressive Youth Movement (PYM) and SST residents in Khayelista too have faced police brutality for demanding the basics of life, like housing and sanitation.

It is the politicians, the rich and the state that do these things to us. Under capitalism and the state system, we make the rich and politicians rich. In the end we die poor, and for long as the state and capitalism exist this won’t change. We have to fight against these if we are not going to die silent and poor. We need water, electricity, and housing – these are the basics of a decent life. We, therefore, have to take all these things back – and workers and the poor have to take control of the economy directly to meet everyone’s needs. We also need to get rid of the state, and run society based on direct democracy. Only when this happens will we be truly free and only then will things like homelessness, cut-offs, evictions, crime, poverty, racism, sexism, frustration and misery end – only then will our townships stop being apartheid style hellholes.

For more information contact Soundz of the South (SOS) @ or 083 447 2939