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Publication Details

Beresford, Alex  (2006) Trapped in Corporatism? Trade Union Linkages to the Abahlali BaseMjondolo Movement in Durban.. Centre for Civil Society : 1-85.

This paper seeks to identify the relationship between the COSATU trade unions in Durban and the shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo. It will outline how COSATU has been absorbed into a strategy of cooperating in corporatist structures and what implications this has. It will be argued that COSATU has not been able to reap the concessions it had hoped for from such arrangements and has been unable to exert the level of influence over the ANC that would allow it to guide a project for social transformation through the Alliance. The case study in Durban analyses the trade union attitudes towards the Abahlali movement and assesses whether trade union responses indicate that COSATU is trapped in a one-dimensional strategy of cooperation in corporatist governance. It also considers whether this has precluded COSATU from exploring linkages with groups like Abahlali that offer radical agendas for transforming South African society.

Table Of Contents

Abstract 2
Introduction 3
Chapter One: Methodology 7
Chapter Two: COSATU and Neoliberal Corporatism in South Africa 10
Chapter Three: Abahlali BaseMjondolo’s Challenge to Contemporary Governance in South Africa: 24
Chapter Four: Towards A United Struggle? 47
Chapter Five: Conclusion 82
Bibliography: 86
Appendix: 91

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