The Bishop Lavis Action Community (BLAC) turns 3 today. It is a massive achievement taking into account the graveyard South Africa has become – littered with the corpses of once promising organisations and social movements.
Those still around are struggling to stay relevant as the excruciating struggle for survival under the capitalist system is extremely difficult.
Originally formed to resist the devastating gang violence which killed 17 people over a period of three weeks during July 2017, BLAC continuously and consistently took up the struggles of our poor working class community to build a fighting movement, able to resist, organise and mobilise our people.
Visionary leadership ensured this.
After a steering committee was formed at King David estate on 06 August 2017 by concerned members from Lavis and surrounding communities, BLAC announced its arrival with a wreath-laying and sing along.
This happened amidst the gang violence. It was an attempt to take back our streets.
A handful of committed activists, supported by a fed-up community marched through the streets of Lavis.
We started at the Magistrates Court, proceeded to Vygie and Keurberg roads and ended off at the Vaal Flats.
We planted crosses, laid wreaths and offered family members of those who lost their lives an opportunity to not only grieve, but to condemn the gang violence by saying “enough is enough”.
It still remains one of the largest mobilisation efforts of our people to date.
BLAC also assisted with the interfaith service organised by the Religious Forum, amongst others during September 2017.
Allen Boesak addressed our people at the Lavis Sports ground. It was a resounding effort at building the consciousness and the confidence of our people to resist and claim back our common humanity amidst the brutal gang violence.
Still later during 2017, we organised the big screen viewing of the Idols finale where our own Paxton Fillies won. It still remains the largest ever event Lavis has ever seen.
During this time we also launched our Physical Wellness, Challenge Day for high school learners, our Legal Advice service, indigenous games, a Christmas party for our children as well as a community garden.
BLAC also had a highly successful fundraiser in the form of a High Tea with Human Rights Commissioner, Chris Nissen in attendance.
During 2018 we actively partook in the struggle for water, attended the launch of the Working Class Movement and also organised the shutdown of Lavis against gang violence.
We also shut down the local shopping centre when our hawkers’ livelihoods were theathened!
2019 saw us protesting at Bergville Primary as we fought injustices on the educational front. We made national headlines. Many other actions followed.
Throughout, we continued with our projects, especially our weekly feeding scheme. Today we are reaping those benefits.
The Covid19 pandemic hit us. The provision of food through our street committees, enables us to feed thousands over the past few months.
We achieved all of this without any significant funding. Our members, our strongest asset, remain volunteers in service of cour community.
We hereby extend our sincerest gratitude to our community for helping us grow, our solidarity partners who continuously assist with building our capacity as well as our Central Executive Committee for providing visionary leadership.
Last, but not least, we want to thank our Day Council members for their continued selflessness with building this proud movement.
Many challenges await us. Our vision and mission is paramount to carry us through the next phase.
We owe it to the people of Lavis, the Western Cape, South Africa and indeed the world!
Active community participation for total liberation!
Issued by the BLAC Central Executive Committee
06 August 2020
This statement was first released by BLAC on 06 August 2020.