The Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) congratulates Des D’Sa on winning the Goldman Environmental Prize.

We acknowledge Des’ decades-long commitment to the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and the people of South Durban, that has on occasion resulted in personal risk.

However, despite the heroic efforts of SDCEA the refineries have not been held accountable and the port expansion is going ahead.

It now time to consider new strategies and alliances in this struggle. There must be a political alternative that will take up these issues ignored by other parties.

We therefore call on Des and SDCEA to urge the people of South Durban to vote for WASP as the only party actively campaigning against the Port Expansion.

WASP candidates, if elected, will not be paid more than the wage of a skilled worker e.g. a mechanic or electrician and will be subject to recall. They are ordinary workers and community activists with records of struggle and hard work. WASP MP’s will vigorously defend the interest of the people of South Durban as we are not like other parties indebted to capitalism.

WASP is the only party contesting these elections on a clear socialist programme rooted in day-to-day struggles. We are contesting the elections as one step on the way to build the mass struggles and movements needed to overturn the dictatorship that capital is exercising over people and environment. WASP supports marches, protests, occupations and other actions organised by SDCEA. We are prepared to assist SDCEA wherever needed, for example by organising media campaigns, making posters, and hosting public speakers.

WASP stands for:

  • An independent worker and community-led commission to find the best way to develop an integrated port and city: it should prioritise moving freight (containers) to rail and improving the efficiency of existing infrastructure.
  • Moratorium (No more) on polluting industry
  • The refineries & other big business must pay for destroying our environment and health – enforce meaningful fines for violations, failure to meet regulations must lead to nationalisation and redirection of polluting industry under democratic control by workers and communities; no job losses.
  • Rapid redirection of energy generation towards renewable sources such as solar, wind, wave and geothermal power, and biomass power based on waste not food crops; replace fossil fuels with renewable ones; massive programme of creating ‘climate jobs’
  • Investment in infrastructure that benefits working class and poor people – for a worker- and community-controlled public works programme building houses, clinics, hospitals, schools, roads, sports and recreational infrastructure.
  • Explore using old airport land for non-industrial purposes such as: market, gardening, aquaculture, small craft harbour and marina.
  • Keep the major part of Clairwood race course as a green lung – no industry.

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