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On Friday 26th August I was asked to give a keynote talk at the 30th Anniversay of Planact – an NGO that I helped establish in 1985 to support urban social movements that were invading land, leading rent and consumer boycotts and entering into negotiations with apartheid state structures at the local level. I was expecting a small group of the old-timers, but the room was packed for an all-day event with over 150 people, nearly all from local communities in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Provinces. The best part was meeting old comrades from the 1980s – in the pic on the left, from right is Basner Moloi from my days with the Katlehong Shop Stewards Council, then Abe Nyalunga who led the Tamboville land invasion (see pic on the right) and to my right is Moss Mayekiso, and next to him the current Director of PLANACT. The middle pic shows me sitting next to Frank Meintjies and Cas Coovadia who headed up the Civic Assocations of Johannesburg (CAJ). When I asked Abe what he does now he said “I’m an unemployed darkie.” These are the grassroots activists who did not make it onto the gravy train. My talk (see below) recounted how PLANACT began, including the story I have never told publicly about how Beyers Naude gave me a cheque of R10 000 to start PLANACT without a proposal or a request for a report. We started PLANACT to support the comrades in Langa, Uitengage, who were resisting forced removals. We supported the Tamboville land invasion on the East Rand and many others. I concluded that it is time to go back to land invasions to stop the rich from stealing the public land. Once young councillor objected insisting we should be talking about good governance. I agreed, and then said if he dislikes land grabbing he should go out and put a stop to the mass sales of state-owned land by the parastatals that are currently underway. The issue now is now whether land grabbing should happen or not, but whether it happens for the rich of the poor. To date the land question has unfortunately been about rural land. Urban land has been ignored. And so much urban land is owned by the parastatals, especially TRANSNET. If we want to prevent captured parastatals from selling land to rich, the urban poor needs to invade this land. Legal methods can be used in parallel, but without mass action they are bound to fail. I made it clear these are my own views, and not the views of PLANACT.