/ 5 January 2011

Joe Slovo Foundation established

The Joe Slovo Foundation, which will serve to commemorate his life’s work and raise funds for high quality education and housing, was established on Wednesday, foundation representatives said.

These were issues that were close to Slovo’s heart, spokesperson Martin Dolny said in a statement.

“Despite significant progress, education and housing remain urgent priorities for this country. We need to empower South Africans of all ages with education, skills and opportunities,” he said.

The foundation would prioritise e-skills, and focus on hastening the pace at which South Africans could access low-cost, high quality housing.

It would also give priority to supporting the expansion of housing cooperatives to expedite housing delivery, as well as provide legal and professional services, Dolny said.

The establishment of the foundation came at the same time as the 16th anniversary of Slovo’s death, which is on January 6.

An official celebration was planned to launch the foundation towards the end of May to coincide with what would have been Slovo’s 85th birthday, he said.

Slovo died of cancer in 1995. He was an anti-apartheid activist, a founder of Umkhonto weSizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, and general secretary of the South African Communist Party in the 1980s. – Sapa