Community organisers, activists, and concerned citizens are invited to the launch of Cry of the Xcluded Western Cape and the anti-austerity campaign on Wednesday, 05 July 2023 at Heideveld Secondary School, Waterberg Road, Heideveld from 9 AM.
For several years, the South African government has implemented and gradually increased the depth of what can only be described as austerity measures. Since 2013, consecutive National Budgets have prioritized significant cuts and limitations towards government expenditure for basic service provision, public infrastructure, employment stimulation and social protection. As is often the case, the slashing of expenditure towards the public good coincides with tax relief for the rich, interest rate hikes and a deepening of regressive taxation.
Budget cuts to health, education, welfare, police and all the services that poor people depend on, have created a wasteland. Our country is not just collapsing, it is hurtling towards the cliff face. The July 2021 riots were not the wake-up call for our ‘Alice in Wonderland’ government. Such eruptions of anger are isolated incidents, for now in hundreds of communities around the country but will explode again as the situation further worsens. The cost of living crisis, load shedding and the increase in electricity of nearly 20% makes this almost inevitable.
The attacks on public sector workers is an attack on the provision of public services and an attack on their unemployed family members. Women are compromised and made vulnerable to violence and exclusion. They must fill the gap of the retreating state, providing more care to their families and the broader society. They become the doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, cooks and cleaners – the ones who must pick up the pieces as our communities collapse.
We have had enough. We are calling on our people to rise up. Our uprising is not to loot and destroy. Our call is for the people of our country to unite in solidarity and care. We are not rising up to attack other vulnerable groups. We are not attacking members of the LGBTQI+ community, foreign nationals, or people of different languages and skin colour. We are rising up as poor and working people regardless of colour, language, religion and gender. As the Cry of the Xcluded we recognise all of us are struggling to live, to have a home, to afford transport, electricity and to put bread on the table.
In this context, it is essential that the construction of an alternative development path is rooted in local communities and popular formations. In this regard, it is urgent to unite the broadest range of civil society formations (civic, labour, faith-based, women youth, etc.) to confront the deep crises we face and rise above single-issue concerns. A tragedy of a huge scale is unfolding and only if poor and working people stand together with their own plan can a catastrophe be prevented.
On the day, we will discuss strategies for pushing back against budget cuts that have a negative impact on the public services and programs that the majority of people rely on.
To RSVP or for more information contact: 061 137 1901 Mishqah Samuels, 078 189 7846 Siziphiwe Dunjana, 082 221 9650 Amanda Fani or 084 645 2682 Zane Poole.