Dateline: JOHANNESBURG, May 30
On 5 June, 2019, women and men alike, in their hundreds, will march to the Union Buildings to assert their rejection of policies which seek to revive apartheid and colonial Bantustan laws governing citizenship, land, and the property rights of rural communities, by turning its people into subjects wholly dependent on the benevolence of traditional authorities.
The Stop Bantustans Campaign, an initiative of the Alliance for Rural Democracy together with allied organizations and movements, has as for months, rallied and mobilized ordinary women and men, and whole communities alike to defend rural democracy and equality in South Africa. The movement made up of activists and movements from across the country, will convene once more from the evening of Tuesday, 4th June 2019, at Moretele Park in Mamelodi, for a camp out ahead of the main protest action. Our intense and tireless mobilizing efforts over the duration of the campaign will see us on Wednesday, 5 June, MARCH TO THE UNION BUILDINGS to deliver a consultative memorandum demanding President Cyril Ramaphosa to 1) completely overhaul the Traditional Courts Bill (TCB) and 2) not sign the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill (TKLB) into law. We will not sit back and watch the reversal of over 362 years of struggle and sacrifice by the masses of the South African majority Black population, who fought long and hard to defeat colonialism and formal Apartheid which sought to relegate them into permanent subjectivity and deny them dignity, self-determination and full personhood. These two laws if signed into law, will signal a spit in the face of the legacy of resistance and communities which have continued, post 1994 to speak truth to power against the loss of sovereignty, loss of their lands, and food and environmental insecurity. From Marikana, to Xolobeni, and now the Stop the Bantustans Bills Campaign across S.A., communities are standing united in their struggle to retain control of their lands and assert their right to reject regressive and oppressive law-making!
The TKLB and TCB, will have the sum effect of allowing traditional leadership (not necessarily recognized by the People, and not always elected by the People themselves) to dictate how communal land is used, allocated and accessed in the interests of corporate greed and government collusion. Furthermore, these Bantustan Bills are a threat to democracy; free prior informed consent; and social justice for 18 million of South Africa’s population. They will also have the added consequence of harming rural women the most, owing to the sharp intersection of capitalist exploitation, corruption and patriarchy. The abuse of power by the elite few, coupled with the weaponization of history, customs and tradition to further subjugate a rural mass population, will not happen unopposed; communities continue to stand together and assert their right to collectivized organizing power and self-determination.
Rural communities stand united in opposing the Bantustan Bills and call on all South Africans to join them in participatory mass action to affirm rural democracy. We too, are citizens and refuse to be subjected to indiscriminate laws and a parallel justice system! We too, are citizens and refuse to be subjects of a Bantustan governance system! We are calling on all South African citizens, progressive media and civil society alike to support this march and stand in solidarity with an 18 million strong rural population whose rights stand to be severely compromised by self-serving and illegitimate laws and policy! Support this march! Support this cause!
The details for this critical and urgent mass public action are as follows:
Date: 5 June 2019
Time: 07:30 Assembly at Paul Kruger Square (Bantustan Square)
Venue: the march will start at Paul Kruger Square, Tshwane and end at the Union Buildings.
For more information or direct media liaison: +27 64 090 3719 or +27 82 559 0632