Earlier this month, the Cry of the Xcluded launched a Year of Mass Action campaign, since then, they have held speak-outs, teach-ins, protests and demonstrations to create awareness and to channel the anger of South Africans to where it belongs. According to the movement, this is not a once-off process. For the rest of 2023 leading to 2024, they will be organising and mobilising in resisting austerity, privatisation, corruption and for a just transition from below.
The day before the Budget Day, social movements, labour and other grassroots organisations coming from communities around kwaLanga, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Phillipi, Vrygrond, Mitchells’ Plain, Heidelveld, Crossroads, etc, gathered outside Parliament to discuss what they want Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana to include in the national #Budget2023. The Peoples’ Budget Speak-Out was hosted by the Cry of the Xcluded.
On Wednesday, when the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana announced another budget which steals from the poor to give to the rich, the Xcluded were protesting across the country calling for an end to budget cuts to health, education, welfare, police & all the services that poor people depend on.
In Cape Town, they joined the public service unions demonstration in Hanover street. The message is simple, the attacks on public sector workers is an attack on the provision of public services and an attack on their unemployed family members, said Cry of the Xcluded member, Lindi Mkhumbane.
In the Free State, they marched to the Free State Provincial Treasury where no one showed up to receive their memorandum. “As we have said it before, the government and its officials have lost touch with the people ”, said Khokhoma Motsi , Cry of the Xcluded coordinator. The entire month of February will be a month of mass education and action.
In Kariega, activists from various movements organising under the banner of the Cry of the Xcluded marched to the Uitenhage Town hall where Mayor Retief Odendaal received their memorandum. “People tend to blame the state of service delivery on corruption and mismanagement, but Minister Godongwana reduced the budget for local government again. How are municipalities supposed to finance the provision of basic and essential services on the basis of full cost recovery?” asked Vuvu Made, coordinator of the Cry of the Xcluded in Kariega.
“We reject Minister Godongwana’s budget filled with budget cuts that will mainly affect the poor and marginalised, which will plunge more people into further terrifying levels of poverty, neglect and exclusion,” said Made.
In Makhanda, Eastern Cape, they held a picket at the Makana Municipality offices. And according to community leader, Ayanda Kota, this is not a once-off process. For the rest of 2023 leading to 2024, Cry of the Xcluded will be organising and mobilising for the Year of Mass Action campaign.
Read the Cry of the Xcluded budget 2023/4 reaction statement here.