SJC celebrates a decade of action

Social Justice Coalition (SJC) recently marked 10 years of fighting for the advancement of people’s constitutional rights.

Established in 2008 to promote equality for all people, the organisation has grown in leaps and bounds and currently has more than 2500 members in various informal settlements.

SJC general secretary Axolile Notywala said he was proud to have been one of the people who started the journey.

He said the organisation initially faced a lot of threats and opposition, however it was not deterred.

“Our movement has grown from strength to strength, from two branches in 2008 to 17 in 2018,” he said. The organisation has branches in Khayelitsha, Philippi, Gugulethu and Kraaifontein.

“We also continue to work with and support many other communities throughout Cape Town,” said Notywala.

SJC member Thandokazi Njamela said being part of the movement had taught her the importance of social justice and to break through the structural inequalities that kept young people away from engaging in social and political actions in their respective communities.

She added that she was proud to be part of the movement that brought social change to many communities around Khayelitsha.

Another member Zukiswa Qezo said her community had no lights and no toilets. She praised the SJC for helping them to fight for some of their rights.

“I used to relieve myself next to the freeway, but SJC opened our eyes to our rights,” she said.

“As residents we received some of the things we had been waiting for”.

Qezo said the organisation empowered her to understand the country’s Constitution. Nkosikhona Swartbooi said the highlight for him was when Premier Helen Zille agreed to establish the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

“For many years we had been campaigning for a safer Khayelitsha, and the commission brought together activists, residents, police officers, academics and religious leaders and shared their experiences with regards to safety and policing issues in Khayelitsha.” said Swartbooi.