Ntirhisano is a grassroots community center in Cape Town, fighting racism, capitalism, and sexism through mutual aid and direct action. Help us keep our doors open!
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Ntirhisano Community Centre (NCC) is a grassroots political movement operating on the principles of voluntary cooperation, direct action, and mutual aid. Ntirhisano Community Centre (NCC) is located on Albert Road in Salt River, Cape Town. After the Apartheid government bulldozed District Six in the 1950s and 1960s: Salt River remained the neighborhood-like enclave where people of colour lived side by side. Albert Road became a symbol of resilience, a reincarnation of the District Six’s popular culture of resistance. Workers from nearby industries, primarily textile, and their families flocked to Albert Road to buy goods and for recreational activities. They came from across apartheid’s black-only designated areas. Tragically Salt River was devastated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s structural adjustment program in the 1980s. This led to labor flexibility, the casualization of workers, and the collapse of the Cape Town textile industry. Today Salt River is home to many people from around the continent, and the spirit of struggle endures. It is this spirit which Ntirhisano Community Centre seeks to support
Ntirhisano is a Xitsonga/Shangaan word meaning working together. Naming the community centre Ntirhisano seeks to bridge geographic, linguistic, and political divides. What is more, it seeks to recognize the migration of language, people, and culture and to build the culture of “working together” between oppressed groups — of which Cape Town has a rich history — while demanding self-determination. This requires efforts aimed at changing the current sociopolitical inequalities and replacing them with that of a free and equal society for all. An unbiased integration of natural sciences with the arts and politics is essential in sharpening our ideas in this mission. In the same light, the struggle against human oppression is part of everyday life, not an event.
NCC has committed itself to respecting and advancing this long-enduring solidarity against systems of oppression with consideration, care, and sensitivity. Ntirhisano is rekindling and igniting multiple layers within the social consciousness. This is done through a variety of means including reading, holding debates and discussions, art, events, organizing, gardening, visiting communities, learning activities, and listening and sharing grassroots experiences. We believe these activities will resonate in many directions. In finding ways to participate in communities where people have always taken care of one another through many years, generations and journeys of oppressions. These memories are key in interpreting the ongoing stubbornness why many more lives are subjected to destitution, pain, sorrow and death.