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Mthembu, Ntokozo (2006)  ICC Picket September 11 2006. Centre for Civil Society : -.


Today 11 September 2006 at 08.00am communities from all over Durban and Pietermaritzburg picketed in large numbers opposite the Hilton Hotel and ICC at a venue called Speakers Corner. Communities turned in large numbers with bus and taxi loads of people with colorful banners and placards depicting the shambles of the governments failure to involve poor people in their plans and programs.

Speaker after speaker asked the question of why a housing summit was
been held and yet they were not invited. The organizing committee sent
in two representatives to observe and take notes and the summit and when
they came out during the lunch break they had this to say.The government
policies are pro -rich and no poor person will be given the opportunity
to build low cost housing next to a three million rand mansion.

They informed us that the Mayor opened the summit with a few words and
left immediately after this with the usual excuse of another meeting in
Gauteng. The MEC of Housing Minister Mike Mbyakhulu [I am not sure spelt
right] drove right pass the picket line arrogantly even though we
requested him or his department head to receive the memorandum from the
communities. He further stated that communities must follow protocol and
instructed his department not to engage with us. We then requested the
senior policeman Director Harry to receive and present the memorandum to
the MEC 's office.

Our memorandum will now be faxed to the MEC's office as well and we have
put them on notice within seven days to meet us or respond and we will
decide our plan of action

We finally left after a long day of struggle but the candle is lit and
we continue to challenge the powers to be to talk with us and not for us.
Desmond D'Sa

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