Socio-economic inequalities and injustices that emerged in the new democratic South Africa sparked the formation of social movements to be the voice of the people. The APF was one of the most influential social movements formed.
The APF became a new pillar for many activists who yearned for an organised movement with an influence to challenge the new government on issues of injustice.
As the APF grew, it became necessary to develop various documents to guide the work of the movement, to address policy matters and emergent challenges, and to facilitate both internal and external communication.
Community movements, NGOs and activists united to form the Social Movements Indaba to oppose and expose pro-capitalist nature and politics of the WSSD.
The struggle against the 'fair' provision of electricity through pre-paid meters has been a central component of community campaigns within the work of the APF and key affiliates like the SECC.
As one of the key campaign pillars of the APF since its formation, the struggle against the privatisation of water (and all its associated socio-economic and human impacts on poor communities) was taken up in communities early in the APF’s history.
The APF's continued fight against the ANC's radical politics, soured the relationship it had with the ANC, its alliances and other movements involved in labour struggles. The APF still engaged on finding common ground.
The elections afforded the APF an opportunity to deliberate on its own approach to electoral politics and participatory democracy. Some activists and communities were even proposing that the APF stand as a political party in the national elections.
Housing formed one of APF's earliest struggles. It helped initiate the Johannesburg Inner-City Anti-Eviction Campaign which sought to advocate for pro-poor housing and to resist unfair evictions of poor tenants by the City of Johannesburg.
The APF threw its weight behind the people of Kliptown and Thembalihle in the fight for the delivery of basic services and housing. The APF also went beyond Gauteng borders to assist other disadvantaged communities in this regard.
Following the violent xenophobic attacks that spread through the country in 2008, the APF and other movements formed the Coalition Against Xenophobia to promote social tolerance.
The APF viewed the budget to build the stadiums for the world cup event as being substantially reckless considering the plight of many neglected poor South Africans who were not going to benefit from the event.
The APF faced various challenges including the 'loss' of comrades and misuse of funds by the corrupt few, which had a negative impact on the movement.
The APF became one the most influential social movements in fighting for the socially, economically and politically marginalised under the new-found democratic dispensation.
© SAHA 2023