To: Organisations involved with anti-privatisation struggles
From: Anna Weekes (SAMWU Media Officer but sending this letter as a member of the Cape Town Anti-Privatisation Forum)
Date: 3rd October 2001
Please find attached details of a National Exploratory Workshop to be held in Johannesburg from the 26th - 29th October 2001. This Workshop seeks to co-ordinate the activities of all the various Anti-Privatisation Forums (APF's) operating in South Africa at the moment.
As you may have read from the SAMWU e-mail news, communities across the country are in a crisis as GEAR, the government's World Bank designed macro-economic policy, has kicked in and services are now only delivered on the basis of full cost-recovery. GEAR also places a strong emphasis on the privatisation of municipal services, which SAMWU has always been fighting.
This GEAR policy has led to thousands of evictions, cut-offs, and attachments of poor people's property in order to cover their arrears. These efforts by the state and the accompanying police brutality have been resisted by communities across the country in a semi-organised fashion. (Please see http://southafrica.indymedia.org/ for news on these struggles; also http://www.cosatu.org.za/samwu/apf.htm).
While there are firmly established Anti-Privatisation Forums (which bring together the communities and the workers - largely from the country's public sector unions) in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg, there are also smaller civic movements in other centres in the country.
These emerging social movements have never had a chance to meet for a few days and strategise as to how to take the anti-privatisation struggle forward as a united national body. The National Exploratory Workshop will be the first such opportunity.
The Johannesburg APF has taken up the challenge of convening this workshop. However, the community groups and shopstewards making up the APF's are extremely under-resourced. We are therefore seeking any contribution that your organisation could make to assist us in hosting this workshop, even if it is only a very small amount. We are holding our own fundraising initiatives and have also applied to all the South African public sector unions for funding but are not sure if this will be successful.
The rough budget for the workshop is:
Please note that a rough total of R80 000 is equal to about US $ 8900. This is a very large amount, but anything you can donate will assist us greatly. Please e-mail me if this is at all possible.
Yours in the struggle against privatisation,
on behalf of the Cape Town Anti-Privatisation Forum
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