CCS Events
CCS Libraries
About CCS
CCS Projects
CCS Highlights

Seminars 2010

  • Film screening: The Uprising of Hangberg

  • Coal & the US Electric Sector

  • US Philanthropy and the Global South

  • Lynch Violence and the Governance of Evil

  • Western Sahara: Africa’s Forgotten Conflict

  • Adapted technologies for the poor

  • The Challenges of Global Warming

  • Civil society v Southern African dams

  • Donor power in the international aid industry

  • Radical Plumbers and PlayPumps

  • Chinese Geogovernance in Africa

  • Inanda's socio-spatial change

  • Seminar on grassroots video communications

  • Seminar on Black Economic Empowerment

  • Green Resources Ltd in Tanzania

  • Re-branding Durban through the 2010 World Cup">Re-branding Durban through the 2010 World Cu

  • Identity/Spatial Relations: scholar activism the greater Kei region

  • Chatsworth politics and municipal advocacy

  • Oil, minerals and maldevelopment in Africa

  • Zimbabwe civil society between constitutionalism and redistribution

  • Debunking Delusions: : The inside Story of The Treatment Action Campaign

  • The world capitalist crisis


  • Carol Thompson seminar on resisting agro-industry

  • Fifa's Looting of South Africa

  • Understanding Protest Action in South Africa

  • The World Bank and Eskom

  • A Dearth of Imagination Leads to Wasting Perfectly Good Waste

  • The Saharawi, Warwick Junction and Footsak Politics

  • Film screening: The Uprising of Hangberg

    Seminar: Screening of Documentary The Uprising of Hangberg
    Date: Tuesday 14 December 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, Level 6, The Tower, MTB, Howard College, UKZN

    The Uprising of Hangberg documents the human rights violations that took place in Hangberg, Cape Town, when police attacked a Hout Bay community after residents ignored the City’s request to house no new arrivals in temporary dwellings on and above the fire-break on the mountain. The documentary was produced by Aryan Kaganof and Dylan Valley.

    Review by Hlengiwe Mnguni, 3 November 2010: (

    On September 21, the community of Hangberg on the slopes of the Sentinel Mountain in Hout Bay was catapulted into the spotlight when an operation by the City of Cape Town to demolish illegally built homes quickly degenerated into a violent confrontation between the police and residents. The events of that day are portrayed in The Uprising of Hangberg, a documentary by Aryan Kaganof and Dylan Valley, which they say aims to tell the other side of the story. Valley said his interest in the Hangberg saga had been piqued after fellow filmmaker Kaganof - who happened to have lived in the area for some time in the past - told him there was something wrong with the way that the community had been portrayed in the media by the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.He said there was something very wrong with the picture. That community is not the way they were portrayed…violent hooligans. We needed to tell the other side of the story.

    Review by Helge Janssen, 19 November 2010: (

    This intensely powerful documentary has, with immediacy and passion, encapsulated much of what is so contentious within our country right now: misuse of power, manipulation of press freedom, lack of quality in Government leadership. We see the indignity of forced removal being contrasted with the dignity of being heard. This documentary stands as a testament to the Khoisan of Hangberg, and to the power of the individual voice in today’s patronising society. The fundamental issue of human rights in our country must be seen to be effective otherwise our entire constitution is a farce. The ramifications of this incident carry huge import for our country as a whole.

    Coal & the US Electric Sector

    Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign: Transforming the US Electric Sector

    Date: Friday, 19 November 2010
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, The Tower, MTB, Howard College
    Time: 12:30‑14:00
    Speaker: Cesia Kearns

    Topic: Coal‑fired power is a major culprit for perhaps the biggest crisis of
    our time ‑ climate change ‑ as well as a tremendous source of highly
    toxic air and water pollution that poisons local communities and damages
    the beautiful places and resources that sustain them. Around 2001, when
    the coal industry and U.S. utilities began a mad Coal Rush to build
    150 new coal‑fired power plants, the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign
    embarked on an aggressive organizing campaign to oppose every proposal.
    Discover the dirty truth about coal, how the Sierra Club's organizing
    strategies have defeated 138 of the previous 150 proposals, and dialogue
    about how the United State's largest and oldest grassroots environmental
    organization and its allies envision a global imperative to continue
    challenging Big Coal and building a clean energy future.

    Speaker Bio: Cesia Kearns has worked for the past six years as a Regional
    Representative with the Sierra Club's (the Unites States' oldest and
    largest grassroots environmental non‑profit) Beyond Coal Campaign
    organizing with community leaders and allies to enact clean energy
    policies and stop the construction of a new coal‑fired power plant. She
    now works out of Portland, Oregon, on the Sierra Club's latest effort to
    make the Northwest region of the U.S. entirely free of coal‑fired
    electricity and to address coal project developments across
    international borders. Prior to the Sierra Club, Cesia received two
    bachelor's degrees from Minnesota State University in Mankato, served as
    a volunteer leader on human rights issues with Amnesty International,
    and as a fellow with the Kessel Peace Institute educating Southern
    Minnesota communities about peace and social justice issues.

    US Philanthropy and the Global South">US Philanthropy and the Global South

    Date: 8 November 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, The Tower, MTB, Howard College
    Speaker: John Harvey
    Topic: US Philanthropy and the Global South: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges

    In the US, private donations to charity amount to more than US$300 billion annually. Yet less than 5% of this philanthropy goes to international causes, and but a small amount makes it's way to the global South. When it does, it frequently comes with a US/ Northern agenda: Witness the Gates Foundation's massive support to African agriculture that places global corporate interests well above those of traditional African farmers. John Harvey, founding director of Grantmakers Without Borders (, will offer a comprehensive overview of US philanthropy, its infrastructure and its relationship to social change in the global South. He'll discuss notable recent trends in US-based philanthropy, including philanthro-capitalism and increasing obsessions with social entrepreneurship and microfinance. He'll also discuss the small but vibrant community of social justice grantmakers and their relationship to US philanthropy as a whole.

    Speaker Bio:
    John Harvey brings more than 20 years of experience to the field of global social change philanthropy. From 2000 to 2010, he served as director of Grantmakers Without Borders, a US-based network of social change grantmakers whose mission is to increase funding for global social change and to improve grantmaking practice. Prior to joining Grantmakers Without Borders, John worked with Grassroots International and Oxfam America. John speaks regularly on issues of social change philanthropy and grantmaking practice. John is currently in South Africa to develop and pilot an innovative evaluation program, called the Grantee Experience and Insight Report, that allows grantees to provide honest and confidential feedback on their donors.

    Lynch Violence and the Governance of Evil

    Date: Tuesday 26 October 2010
    Time: 12:30 - 14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Speaker: Nicholas Rush Smith
    Title: Lynch Violence and the Governance of Evil

    Through an account of a notorious incident of lynch violence in KwaMashu
    township, this paper demonstrates that punitive violence outside of the
    state is not necessarily caused by failures in policing as is often
    assumed. Instead, the paper argues, mob “justice” is better understood
    as being connected to problems of perceived moral failure and the spread
    of evil. The paper goes on to engage Walter Benjamin’s famous essay,
    “Critique of Violence,” and interrogates the relationship between
    violence, law, and state building.

    Speaker Bio:
    Nicholas Rush Smith is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political
    Science at the University of Chicago. He is currently researching a
    dissertation on crime, policing, and vigilantism in post-apartheid South
    Africa. His research is supported by the University of Chicago and the
    Social Science Research Council.

    Western Sahara: Africa’s Forgotten Conflict

    Date: 15 October 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Seminar: Western Sahara: Africa’s Forgotten Conflict
    Speaker: Mariem el Bourhimi

    Topic: Often referred to as Africa’s forgotten conflict and its last colonial outpost the situation of the Saharawi people, both in the occupied territory and the refugee camps in south western Algeria, remains uncertain. Despite United Nation’s diplomatic initiatives, the International Court of Justice’s 1975 ruling in favour of independence for Western Sahara and African Union initiatives many languish in the camps and are oppressed violently in the occupied territory.

    Presenters: Saharawi human rights activist, Mariem el Bourhimi who has been subjected, along with her family to imprisonment, torture and harassment will provide an update on the current situation of the human rights in the territory occupied by Morocco as well as the marginalization that the Saharawi population are exposed to in their own territory.

    Peter McKenzie from the Durban based Dala collective will present his short film ‘Like Grains of Sand’, an ode to the women of the refugee camps.

    Adapted technologies for the poor

    Date: 14 October 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Seminar: Adapted technologies for the poor - how to disseminate knowledge
    Speaker: Rolf Schwermer

    Topic: Sometimes it takes a few simple things and some extra knowledge to improve living conditions for people in developing countries. is a non profit initiative, which has found support in Germany and other countries as a platform for the exchange of knowledge about simple and efficient technologies as an open source.

    About the Speaker: Rolf Schwermer is Senior Lecturer at Fachhochschule Hannover, University of Applied Sciences in Hannover, Germany

    The Challenges of Global Warming

    Speaker: Hayley Leck
    Seminar: Rising to the Adaptation Challenge? Responding to Global
    Environmental Change in the Durban metropolitan and Ugu district
    regions, South Africa.
    Date: Friday 17 September 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, The Tower, MTB

    Global environmental change (GEC) or more narrowly, climate change is
    now widely recognised as the most formidable challenge facing humanity
    in the 21st century and beyond. The adverse effects of climate change
    are disproportionately distributed and it is the already vulnerable and
    marginalised who stand to be most affected. Broadly, Hayley’s research
    explores the opportunities and constraints to adapting to global
    environmental change (GEC), or more narrowly, climate change, in the
    eThekwini (Durban) and bordering Ugu District municipalities in
    KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Particular emphasis is on the human
    dimensions of adaptation to GEC, while recognising the coupled nature of
    social and ecological systems. Specific attention is paid to how
    apparent disparities to vulnerability to GEC amongst households in
    different municipal spaces can be better addressed and accounted for in
    GEC adaptation initiatives. Hayley will present an overview of her
    research and fieldwork experiences and provide a tentative outline of
    some of her main findings so far.

    Speaker Bio:
    Hayley is a PhD student at the Royal Holloway University London. She
    attended the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa from 2003-2008
    where she completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies
    (Cum Laude), as well as BSocSci Honours, Geog and Env. Management (Summa Cum Laude). Hayley has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Civil Society during her fieldwork period which began in October 2009 and will be shortly returning to London where she will complete her final year.

    Civil society v Southern African dams

    Joint seminar of the Centre for Civil Society of the UKZN School of Development Studies in Durban, and International Rivers in Berkeley,

    Speakers: Dudu Khumalo (CCS), Baruti Amisi (CCS), Molefi Ndlovu (CCS),
    Daniel Ribeiro (IR), Terri Hathaway (IR), Lori Pottinger (IR)
    Seminar: Civil society v Southern African dams
    Date: 10 September 2010
    Times: 5:30-7pm (note new time) in Durban, 8:30-10am in Berkeley
    Venues: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower in Durban;
    International Rivers in Berkeley (2150 Allston Way, Suite 300)

    Southern Africans have contested mega-dam onstruction for many decades, beginning with the Zambezi River's damming at Kariba in 1956. In
    addition to traditional anti-displacement considerations, these
    struggles have also entailed broader environmental concerns, including
    the contribution of tropical mega-dams to climate change due to methane
    emissions from decaying vegetation. This is true in two hydropower sites
    we consider in the seminar: Inga on the Congo River (the world's biggest
    planned installation) and Mpanda Nkuwa on the Zambezi in Mozambique's
    Tete Province. In another two sites, the Lesotho Highlands and Inanda,
    the contestations are largely around displacement associated with water
    transfer schemes (to Johannesburg and Durban, respectively). In
    Johannesburg, the extremely high costs of dam construction (two already,
    with four more in the works) also generated downstream disasters in
    low-income townships, where water wars have raged for a decade. How is
    civil society reacting to these multiple challenges: ongoing
    displacement problems, high costs of water/electricity associated with
    mega-dams, extremely uneven distribution of benefits (both water and
    electricity), and climate implications? Teams from the Centre for Civil
    Society in Durban and International Rivers in Berkeley will explore four
    of the major controversial sites as well as other struggles over dams
    and water in Africa.

    (The seminar will have skype conferencing by video between the two
    sites, with a potential to add audio inputs from elsewhere, if you alert
    us at on 9 September)


    Civil Society and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Study of Dam-Affected Communities resulting from the Inga Hydropower Project. CCS Seminar :
    Amisi Baruti (2010)

    A New Colonial Power in Mozambique. CCS Seminar : 1-4.
    Lemos, Anabela & Ribeiro, Daniel (2010)

    Dam Lies
    Sharife, Khadija (2010)

    The struggle for water: The river (Umngeni) we have lost to the dam (Inanda)
    Khumalo, Duduzile (2010)

    Development Dilemmas of Mega-Project Electricity and Water Consumption
    Bond, Patrick & Mafereka ka Ndlovu, Molefi (2010)

    Donor power in the international aid industry

    Speaker: Margaret Gärding
    Seminar: Donor power in the international aid industry
    Date: Friday, 27 August 2010
    Time: 12:30‑14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower

    Why is the nature of recipient‑donor relations important in
    international aid cooperation? What is the nature of recipient donor
    relations emerging in evaluations over the last 20 years, in critical
    literature and in different stakeholder concerns?

    Margaret Gärding, a doctoral student at the University of Umeå in
    Sweden, is researching the topic, Partnership with Africa: Donor and
    recipient relations within a context of power inequality and cultural
    diversity. She is from rural KwaZulu‑Natal, but lived abroad for the
    last 32 years, primarily involved in international aid cooperation on
    the donor side for Oxfam, the British Govt and the Swedish Govt as a
    trainer (at Swedish, Nordic and European level), programme coordinator,
    advisor to governments and as a consultant. She has worked in Niger,
    DRC, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

    Radical Plumbers and PlayPumps

    Borland paper available here:
    Radical Plumbers and PlayPumps - Objects in development

    Speaker: Ralph Borland
    Seminar: Radical Plumbers and PlayPumps - Objects in development
    Date: 25 August 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower

    PlayPump in action

    The PlayPump is a South African invention: a children's roundabout that
    pumps water. It has been highly successful at attracting support both
    within South Africa, and particularly in the United States and Europe;
    but reports of its performance in the field indicate that it does not
    work as well as it should for the user. The compelling image it presents
    to external audiences, of children's play effortlessly producing a
    social good, seem to have selected for the success of the PlayPump over
    its efficacy on the ground.

    This possible consequence of designing objects that both equip users to
    access basic resources, and communicate to others, is the subject of
    Ralph Borland's PhD thesis, 'Radical Plumbers and PlayPumps - Objects in
    development'. He will present an overview of his research, which
    juxtaposes communicative objects such as the PlayPump with developing
    world activism over resources, interventionist art, and critical design,
    to produce a critique of contemporary 'design for the developing world'.

    Speaker Bio:
    Ralph Borland is writing his PhD thesis in the Department of Electronic
    Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin. His undergraduate degree was in
    Fine Art at the University of Cape Town, and his Masters in Interactive
    Telecommunications at New York University.

    Trevor Field of PlayPumps International
    April 14th, 2008 by John Eastman

    John Eastman interviews Trevor Field, the founder of PlayPumps
    International. They discuss many facets of the PlayPumps International
    projects as well as the daily life and difficulties of the average South
    African. Trevor Field elaborates on the catalyst for developing the
    system, the rewarding aspects of his work, and the partnerships that he
    has forged with supporters, including former AOL CEO Steve Case.

    If you look at rural African schools, they haven’t got swing sets
    and the kind of playground equipment that European and American kids
    have got.

    You saw a version of the roundabout at an agriculture fair in
    Johannesburg. Why were you drawn to it? What made you want to do this?
    FIELD: Well, what I saw at the agricultural fair was actually a model of
    a roundabout. And it was a working model built very small, perhaps at a
    tenth scale. I just thought it was a really cute idea. I had seen 100
    people battling to obtain water in various parts of the country. And I
    just thought it was a really good idea in a very simple way, and an
    environmental friendly way of providing water to people. If you look at
    rural African schools, they haven’t got swing sets and the kind of
    playground equipment that European and American kids have got. So it was
    like killing two birds – or, since then, about six birds – with one
    stone. That’s what turned me on to it pursue it.

    Were you looking for a project? Or did it come to you to work like this
    once you saw the model?
    FIELD: No. I’m a keen fisherman. Often would get out to the coast to a
    place they call Transky, which is on the east coast of South Africa.
    It’s called the “Wild Coast” because it’s called the – it’s wild, you
    know. It’s hard to get to. You need a four-wheel drive car and that’s
    why the fishing’s good. It’s difficult to get to. I think I went down
    there for a boy’s fishing weekend, and I observed some ladies standing
    next to a windmill waiting for the wind to blow, because the concrete
    reservoir at the bottom of the windmill was cracked and broken. And it
    wouldn’t hold water. And we were there for a couple days. And when we
    came back and these ladies were still there waiting for the wind to
    blow. And I thought, “that’s quite pathetic.”

    So I had this notion in my mind of trying to come up with the idea of a
    sort of starter handle, like you get on an old motorcar, so you can turn
    the windmill when there was no wind. But that didn’t work because you’re
    going the wrong way for a gearbox. So, yes, I was looking for a
    solution. And I just stumbled across one.

    Once you had the idea and were looking at reengineering and redesigning,
    did you build an initial prototype?
    FIELD: Yes. The guy who came up with the idea and I set about designing
    it and redesigning it. I’m not an engineer at all, but he came up with a
    couple of designs. And the first one that he came up with worked on an
    Archimedes’ screw principle. That only goes in one direction. And so the
    kids showed a resistance and wanted to go both ways. They all went the
    other way, the kids pumping water. So he had to come up with a method to
    get this thing to work in both directions, which is what he did,
    eventually. And we – my company, Roundabout Outdoor, bought pipe from
    him, and we reinstate it a half a dozen times since then. It’s going to
    be an export-quality product that we can leave in a very rural
    community. And it won’t tear or break down. And it won’t get damaged,
    ’cause it’s very, very strong and robust. We have trademarks in every
    country where we believe it will be used in the world.

    Okay. As good of a cause as this is… what your organization is
    accomplishing, do you have competition at this point? Has competition
    FIELD: Yeah. We’ve had an outfit copied our system completely in South
    Africa. And we informed them they were infringing on our intellectual
    property via our patent attorney. We do know that the system has been
    duplicated in India. We don’t know how effective it is. But I’ve looked
    at their designs, and without being slanderous to them, I can tell you
    that from what I’ve seen on the drawing board, they should not put in
    the field. It’s not going to last far with this. It’s just the wrong thing.

    Do you know the companies who you feel infringed upon your patent and
    copied your product? Are they for-profit or are they a nonprofit like
    your organization?
    FIELD: No. They’re a for-profit.

    Your product works by extracting water from the ground with pumps
    powered by children playing on the roundabout, or the merry-go-round,
    and you subsequently sanitize the water and store it in towers. Have you
    looked at, or has the thought come up for using this type of solution to
    solve other types of problems in similar environments, as in the
    sub-Saharan area?
    FIELD: Yes. Well, we won the World Bank Development Marketplace
    competition in February 2000, in Washington, D.C. We were the
    highest-scoring division in the event competition was the replicability
    of the system. You know, we can take this system we’ve got here in our
    factory in Johannesburg, put in a 747 and fly it into your backyard, so
    to speak. Actually, if we find a borehole that has a sufficient quantity
    of water and quality of water, even I could bop this thing together and
    it would work exactly the same in your backyard as it works in South
    Africa, or it would do the same in India or China or anywhere else.
    Obviously, it won’t work in the Artic Circle or in the desert it would
    be so hot, you know, you wouldn’t be able to touch it. But in fairly
    temperate climates it’ll work anywhere.

    Before you founded PlayPumps your career was in advertising. How do you
    compare the two in terms of personal satisfaction? Is what you’re doing
    now as rewarding, more rewarding? Can you speak to that for a bit?
    FIELD: Sure. I mean on a personal satisfaction level, I believe what I
    am doing now is a lot more satisfying. I can sleep at night. It really
    rocks me to know we’re making a difference to a lot of people who are
    nowhere near as privileged as I am or my family is. But when I was in
    advertising, I worked for Penthouse Magazine. That was a lot of fun,
    too, and quite satisfying.

    Kept you up at night, huh?
    FIELD: Oh yeah.

    How many people are involved in the Johannesburg operation?
    FIELD: In our offices here, we’ve got about 14 people who organize
    database and computer systems. And at the factory we’ve got about 35
    people involved in the factory manufacturing the product. And then we’ve
    got all of the installation crews, who are contractors in the various
    provinces and countries where we install. So, all in all, this probably
    – we’re close to a hundred, I would guess, in total.

    Are the majority of those people from the area?
    FIELD: Yes. Everybody at the factory works and lives in the area.
    Everybody here lives in Johannesburg. And all of the contractors who
    install and repair my timing equipment live in those provinces. You
    know, it’s ridiculous for us to drive to very far to go fix a leaking
    crack. We’ve got a Durban crew that lives there and they do all these
    fixes and do maintenance in that particular territory.

    That’s great. I read that in September of last year, 2007, Dale Jones
    joined the company as the Chief Executive Officer. Tell me, how did you
    come to know him? What impact will he have? Why was he chosen to be the CEO?
    FIELD: Well, Dale is – I don’t know a great deal about his background,
    but I do know that he was one of the most influential people for one the
    biggest recruitment agencies in the States. And Steve and Jean Case were
    looking for someone to head up the operation in the US, that type of
    international Washington. And they called him up, and he thought that
    they wanting him to find somebody, when in fact, they were wanting him,
    personally. That’s how I got to know him. I think he’s going to have a
    fantastic impact because he’s very well connected. He’s particularly
    articulate. And because he’s a gentleman and now a good friend of mine
    now. So I think that why he was chosen to run the company because he’s
    just such a nice people’s person.

    Can you tell me about the relationship between PlayPumps International
    and Revolution? Revolution is the company that was founded by Steve
    Case, the former owner of AOL?
    FIELD: Well, Revolution is Steve’s company, and PlayPump International
    is the initiative of the Case Foundation, that is of Steve and Judy
    Case. They’re a married couple. They started the Case Foundation and
    they have pioneered and promoted the PlayPump system. You may have seen
    that PlayPump system was endorsed by First Lady Laura Bush, and Bill
    Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in New York in
    September 2006. That was an official announcement of the American
    Government getting involved. And I know that that was motivated by Steve
    and Jean, and also us. We did some presentations, too. Even I did when I
    was in Washington.

    Is it an ongoing, working relationship? And is Steve Case personally
    FIELD: Steve is involved personally. Not as much as Jean, his wife is.
    Jean is the chairperson of the PlayPumps, International, as far as I’m
    aware. And Jean is very much involved in the functionality and the day
    to day running of the initiative. Steve is involved as well because he’s
    fully up to speed with what’s going on. I was with them two weeks ago at
    their residence in Manhattan Avenue in DC, where they hosted a cocktail
    party with 200 people, which included seven ambassadors and all sorts of
    different people. And they were unbelievably supportive and verbal about
    the PlayPumps initiative and their intention to continue supporting it.

    Okay. Can you tell me about the partnership with the Africa group of the
    Coca-Cola Company? Alexander Cummings is the president and the Chief
    Operating Officer, I believe. Can you tell me about that partnership
    with PlayPumps?
    FIELD: Yes. Well, we continue to have work with them. We have had a
    relationship with the Coca-Cola Company here in South Africa and with
    the head officer, for that matter. I personally hadn’t met Alex Cummings
    prior to a meeting a few weeks ago in DC. But I have spoken to him since
    then, and I’ve sent him a couple of emails. And he sent one back to me
    to say, you know, we want to work together with you. Let’s get your
    executive documents and you’re initiative briefing document, and outline
    your work that you’re currently doing, and then we’ll get back together.
    So we are intending to work with them.

    If you walk down the street in South Africa, everybody says hello to
    you, even if you’re a complete stranger.

    What strikes you the most about South Africa?
    FIELD: Ah, it’s just a beautiful place. It’s got the best weather in the
    world. It’s got the best atmosphere because it’s 6,000 feet up in the
    air – It’s clean and fresh. We got the most fantastic people. We’ve got
    the prettiest girls, the coldest beer, and the best steaks. What else do
    you want to know?

    [Laughing] That’s quite a lot to be envious of. Do you have residence
    there, at this point?
    FIELD: Yes. I’m a permanent resident of South Africa. I’ve been here
    since 1975. I came here as a technician from the UK to install TV
    microwave links. There wasn’t any television in South Africa in those
    days. And I was trained in the UK for the telephone department there.
    And we came here as young guys to put in the microwave links. And once
    you’ve seen Cape Town, once you’ve been on the beach in Durban, you
    don’t want to go anywhere else.

    If you walk down the street in South Africa, everybody says hello to
    you, even if you’re a complete stranger. Everybody says hello, smiles,
    greets you, tips their hat, and says, “Good morning How you doing?” That
    kind of thing. You know, I lived in London and I rode on the tube train.
    And nobody would make eye contact with you, let alone speak to you.

    Well, we’ve really only got two problems in South Africa. One is
    AIDS, which is a massive problem. And the medical distribution of
    antiretroviral drugs is not so much of a problem, the distribution of
    it, it’s the actual administering of the stuff.

    And then there’s the crime in New York and in many of the big cities in
    the States. You know get into a lift, and everybody looks at the digital
    counter that’s telling you which floor you’re on, and nobody says good
    morning or anything. In South Africa, everybody speaks to you. I mean,
    to give you a clue, when my daughter was in high school, I used to go
    and watch her play hockey. And you walked through the school. They’ve
    got 1100 children, and every child, by and large, everyone said, “Good
    morning, Sir.” Thank you. Every one. When you say good morning to 350
    kids when you walk through it becomes a bit too much; you know what I mean?

    Yes. Very touching.
    FIELD: Yes. It’s very, very warm. Very different.

    Recently, on World Water Day, Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon
    released a statement discussing the depth of the problem with sanitation
    and safe drinking water. Do you have a relationship with the UN? Have
    you met the Secretary-General?
    FIELD: I haven’t met the Secretary-General. I would love to. There’s a
    lot of people I’d like to meet to tell them about what we do, and he’s
    one of them. We have worked with some of the United Nations departments.
    In particular, UNICEF, we’ve worked with in the past. We worked with
    UNICEF and a couple of others, but not in any good likeness in-depth as
    I’d like to.

    You are in Johannesburg and working in various provinces. What other
    problems in the area need to be solved? In the United States, we hear
    about the problems of AIDS and distrubuting AIDS medication. Are there
    any other dire problems that you see?
    Well, we’ve really only got two problems in South Africa. One is AIDS,
    which is a massive problem. And the medical distribution of
    antiretroviral drugs is not so much of a problem, the distribution of
    it, it’s the actual administering of the stuff. You know, it’s not
    necessarily just one pill, where you can just take one pill and then
    you’re fixed, you know? It’s a regime of about 8 to 10 different drugs
    that you have to take in a controlled methodology. You have to take them
    at the same time every day. And you have to take some before you’ve
    eaten food and after you’ve eaten food. And you have to take the yellow
    one, then the blue ones, then the green ones. And it’s a regime. And
    when you get to the average African person that doesn’t possess a watch,
    it’s difficult for them to be able to adhere to the methodology of
    taking the pills in the right sequence. And they sometimes skip a day,
    or they forget to take them. That is a problem that is very real. And
    I’m led to believe that if people do take these drugs in the wrong
    order, or miss a couple of days of taking these, then they become immune
    to any kind of antiretroviral drug. That’s a real problem. That’s a
    difficult one to solve.

    So that’s a big problem. The other problem we’ve got here is with crime,
    which is getting much better. It is a problem that keeps everybody on
    their toes. And, you know, a lot of it is opportunity at this time. And
    a lot of it is not malicious, you know, hijackings and murders. And they
    only got it because they’re starving. They’re going to sell something
    they got of yours for $2.00 and they’re going to buy a loaf of bread.

    How do you handle potential volunteers? If someone wants to volunteer to
    work with your organization in Africa is there anything set up to do that?
    FIELD: Yes, it’s a difficult question. We get requests all the time from
    people who want to come to South Africa and install pumps. And obviously
    you’ve got to get a spade and a shovel and dig holes and mix concrete
    and like that. It’s all very noble. But we’ve got African people that
    actually need those jobs. And we’ve got those people to do those jobs.
    And also, we have a problem guaranteeing the safety and well-being of
    foreigners in rural communities, working in areas that they’re not
    familiar with. We have requests all the time from people wanting to
    volunteer. And the short answer’s no, we have cracked how to work that
    one out yet.

    What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?

    FIELD: The best advice I’ve ever received, ever, is to, and everybody
    says this, but it’s true, believe in yourself. You’ve got to believe in
    your idea.

    I mean when I told all my friends that I was going to make a
    children’s roundabout that pumps water. And I was going to change the
    affliction of Africa, they all laughed at me. All of them. But when
    Laura Bush announced the 16.4 million dollar investment into my company,
    there was nobody laughing then.

    I mean when I told all my friends that I was going to make a children’s
    roundabout that pumps water. And I was going to change the affliction of
    Africa, they all laughed at me. All of them. But when Laura Bush
    announced the 16.4 million dollar investment into my company, there was
    nobody laughing then.

    So the best advice that I’ve ever got was that you’ve just got to do it.
    It’s like the Nike slogan. You’ve just got to do it. You have the most
    comprehensive map that anyone’s ever made, without having taken a travel
    once. And action’s what it’s all about. You’ve just got to do it. You’ve
    got all of these fantastic ideas, but if you just sit there and think
    about them, that’s hopeless. You know, you just got to get off your butt
    and get out there and got to do it.

    I think a lot of the students in the university that have studied in
    Europe and so on would benefit from hands-on experience. I would make
    sure that they would have to go on a sojourn to different parts of the
    world, and actually, physically stand there and work with the engineers
    how they’re going to fix a bridge. Rather than looking at it on a
    computer in a university.

    So at this point, there are approximately 1,000 pumps installed.
    FIELD: Yes.

    Where does it go from here? What are the plans? Do you have a certain
    number of installations planned or targeted for the next several years?
    FIELD: Well, we’ve got a plan to expand into nine other countries and to
    expand the base in South Africa. The target at the moment is about 4,000
    pumps, which will ultimately benefit close to ten million people. But
    that’s just a tiny fraction of what we’re trying to do. We’re working
    with all sorts of different of people. We’re looking for partners in all
    sorts of different countries. I mean we can’t do this on our own. We can
    try and do 4,000 pumps on our own, and we will do that. It will take a
    couple years. But if we had a franchise-type model – franchise is
    probably the wrong word but the right terminology – if we could put out
    a model together in such a way that we can take it to Nigeria, Ghana,
    Côte d’Ivoire, Congo, India, Dinah, the Pacific Rim countries. If we
    could franchise the concept and the know how and the IP to other groups.
    That they could work on it and we could change this water shortage
    problem that the world is facing in a much bigger fashion than what we
    would be able to do on our own.

    And in these regions, how is the government involvement? And what are
    you looking forward to in terms of help from political groups?
    FIELD: Well, all of the countries that we’ve been to have decided –
    well, we’ve got a public-private partnership with South African
    Department of Water Affairs. And they have helped us very nicely in the
    past to identify areas of need and then identify boreholes and such. And
    all the target countries that we’re going to before we actually get into
    their countries, we insist on putting an MOU, which is a Memorandum of
    Understanding between ourselves and the government. So that they free
    passage through their border posts with this equipment. There’s no way
    we’re going to pay import duty like gift. So they clear that import duty
    problem out of the way. They also help us with their Department of Water
    Affairs to identify certain boreholes or institute drilling programs for
    people who are disadvantaged. And that is the way we’re looking for help
    from the government. That’s what we want them to do.

    You had previously mentioned the election in Zimbabwe, and of Robert
    Mugabe conceding. Are you looking to benefit from changing leadership?
    Can you foresee bettering conditions that can help your work?
    FIELD: I think you’ll find that Zimbabwe will be chalk and cheese as of
    tomorrow, if what I heard is correct, that Robert Mugabe has decided
    he’s not going to contest the election. We’ve worked a democratic
    change. If that is the case, then you will see Zimbabwe, can we say,
    come to life again. There will be so much money pouring into that place
    it will be a joke because the people are already suffering. They’re our
    neighbors. We’ve been wanting to help them for a very long time. But you
    can’t go into the place. We haven’t been there because we didn’t want
    put any of our installation crews at-risk for political harassment or
    worse, number one. Number two, they wouldn’t allow us to bring the
    equipment in without charging us a 32% import duty, which was never
    going to happen in my lifetime. And number three, you know, their own
    bloody basic system. They go uphill. You can’t shove a truck up with
    diesel. You can’t go anywhere. So all of those are big problems, and I
    think those going to get ironed out first. You know, the
    infrastructure’s going to get sorted out. The fuel situation’s going to
    change. The inflation rates going to start coming down because people
    will start investing in the country because of the fact that the regime
    has changed. And that helps to buy their future. I think it’s going back
    to impact, not just Zimbabwe, but the Sub-Saharan African Region in a
    positive way.

    That all sounds very positive.
    FIELD: Yes. It does. We’re very excited. I can’t wait to get into
    Zimbabwe with my PlayPump system to help the people of Zimbabwe because,
    you know, I know that they’re suffering. I know just how many have been
    born in the wrong time in the wrong place and be under the wrong
    dictator. And, you know, they want to be able to breathe, eat, sleep
    just as well as you and me, and they deserve better.

    I thank you very much for your time. I really respect what you are doing.
    FIELD: A pleasure talking to you then. Take care. Have a good day.

    South Africa, Kwazulu-Natal: playpumps for rural schools
    Updated - Thursday 07 April 2005

    Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) Minister Ronnie Kasrils
    has announced 40 playground roundabout or merry-go-round playpumps to be
    installed at rural KwaZulu-Natal schools, providing learners with safe
    drinking water and hygienic sanitation facilities. This is a result of
    the public private partnership between DWAF, the Department of Education
    and a KZN water utility - Umgeni Water - and Roundabout Playpump (Pty)
    Ltd. As the children spin, water is pumped from underground into a 2500
    litre tank, standing seven metres above the ground. A simple tap
    provides easy access for the mothers and children drawing water. Four
    landscape billboards screen the tank creating an advertising
    opportunity. Two sides are used for health messages, i.e. messages
    warning against HIV/AIDS, and the other two sides are rented out as
    billboards for commercial messages. This advertising revenue ensures
    ongoing maintenance and sustainability of each project. “Women and
    unemployed youth will be involved in the construction phase, so that
    there is not only a direct financial benefit to the local community, but
    that the skills for maintaining the structures are built in,” Kasrils said.

    See also Project showcase : South Africa Roundabout Outdoor HIV/AIDS

    Contact: Mark Melman or Trevor Field (Roundabout Outdoor), fax:
    +27-11-8031639, or:

    Source: BuaNews, 1 Apr 2004

    Trevor Field, Director, Roundabout Outdoor, Founder, Playpump® Water System

    Mark Melman, Co-Director, Roundabout Outdoor Johannesburg, South Africa

    Trevor Field, a retired advertising executive, and his partner, Mark
    Melman, whose business background is also grounded in advertising, have
    formed a business alliance that has in turn forged partnerships with the
    Kaiser Foundation, Steven (founder, AOL) and Jean Case of the Case
    Foundation, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Clinton World
    Initiative, to combat the global crisis of lack of access to clean water
    experienced by over 1 billion people. As a result of many trips to rural
    villages located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Field realized
    that the burden of collecting water fell mainly to the women and girls
    of each household – a time-consuming chore which took them away from
    their educational studies and advancement.

    Field then partnered with an inventor and created the “PlayPump®” –
    basically a children’s merry-go-round that pumps clean, safe drinking
    water from an underground aquifer as the children spin. The PlayPump®
    water storage towers are ensconced by four paneled billboards, two used
    for commercial advertising space to generate revenue to help pay for the
    system’s maintenance and provide local jobs, with the remaining two
    panels dedicated to the communication of social messages, predominantly
    to promote HIV and AIDS awareness.

    PlayPump® International is a 501(c) 3 organization in the U.S. with
    the partner organization Roundabout Water Solutions situate in South
    Africa. Its stated mission is to help improve the lives of children and
    their families by providing easy access to clean drinking water,
    enhancing public health and offering play equipment to millions across
    Africa. Their goal to install 4,000 PlayPump® Water Pumping Systems in
    10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010 — bringing the benefits of
    clean water to approximately 10 million people — closely aligns with the
    stated objectives of the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals.
    Most recently in August, 2008, the PlayPump® Water Pumping System was
    showcased at the 2008 Water Week Conference held in Stockholm, Sweden.

    The remaining portions of this article are based upon an interview
    with Trevor Field conducted by editor Elizabeth Gingerich in March,
    2008, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Interview, March 15, 2008

    Q: I had the privilege to visit and experience first-hand the power
    of the PlayPump®, as I was spun by at least 20 school children during
    recess in the community of Diepsloot (an informal settlement in the
    Gauteng province, just North of Johannesburg).

    Diepsloot where you went is still urban; Lesotho is more of a rural
    environment. They have 790 students in that school, mostly orphans. They
    will take anyone for a spin on these PlayPumps®. That’ll do your stomach
    well. They whiz you fast. And the boys will get on, and spin you the
    other way. But that’s what I like about the PlayPump®. It’s attractive
    to the children.

    Q: I am curious as to what events stimulated you to do what you do –
    your upbringing, work and social experiences, environmental dynamics.
    Also, with respect to the installation of the PlayPump®, do you
    regularly employ experts or is all the work conducted by trained local

    We use professional ground scientists or geologists to test the
    holes which are generally the starting point of installing a system.
    Regardless, you have to understand that local knowledge is very
    important in assisting to find where the best places are to dig. The
    locals are the best sources of knowing where the fracture lines exist
    and sometimes they have an 10 uncanny ability to use a divining rod to
    locate the best places to bore. So many times they show us where to dig,
    and sure enough it’s 35 ft down — right on the money. It is these
    resources we rely upon, together with our professionals.

    Q: When you single out a new area to install a PlayPump® Water
    Pumping System, are you and your team, as well as your particular
    objectives to be accomplished, accepted by the local villagers?

    The people are incredibly warm. They have nothing. We work together
    with them. Keep in mind that according to the facts and statistics of
    the World Health Organization, 6,000 people die each day from
    contaminated water sources. In fact, I think it is 1 in every 3 people
    who is negatively impacted by water-borne diseases.

    Q: Through Engineers-Without-Borders, we have drilled wells in
    sub-Sahara Africa, specifically in the desert region of Northwestern
    Kenya, but have relied upon windmills instead. You apparently have used
    the windmill concept and turned it on its side to achieve a greater rate
    and flow of water?

    What is the wind like there?

    Q: There used to be consistent 10-plus mile per hour winds, day and
    night, but with recently altered weather patterns, presumably due to
    global climate change, the winds have stopped for the first time in
    recorded history in that area and are completely dormant throughout the
    daytime. That is why our chapter is retrofitting the windmills with
    solar motors. Is this also why you decided to harness another source of
    renewable energy?

    This is why, with the PlayPump®, we don’t have to worry about the
    climate. We are simply harnessing the power of child’s play. Another
    problem with the retro-fits would be as soon as the scrap dealers
    realize that there is silver in the solar p

    Chinese Geogovernance in Africa

    Date: Tuesday, 20 July 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Title: Chinese Geogovernance in Africa: Evidence from Zambia
    Speaker: Padraig Carmody

    There is a substantial debate in the literature on the extent to
    which there is a coordinated Chinese government strategy of economic and
    political engagement in Africa. Some authors have tried to address this
    issue by conducting research amongst high-level policy makers. On the
    basis that actions speak louder than words, this paper adopts a
    different approach to look at the on-the-ground nature of Chinese
    economic engagements in Zambia. This is done to assess the way in which
    new modes of geogovernance are being constructed through economic and
    political nodes to form a network or matrix of influence and engagement
    in the country. This paper argues that on the basis of the empirical
    evidence, there does appear to be support for the proposition that
    engagement is planned, rather than ad-hoc or haphazard, with important
    implications for globalisation theory.

    Speaker Bio: Pádraig Carmody is lecturer in Geography at Trinity College
    Dublin.. His research centres on the political economy of globalization
    and economic restructuring in Southern and Eastern Africa. He has
    conducted research on the impacts of economic liberalization on the
    Zimbabwean textile, clothing and footwear industries and the
    restructuring of South African multi-national companies. He has also
    conducted research in Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia. He was formerly
    editor of /Irish Geography /and has consulted for the Office of the
    President Republic of South African, amongst others. He coordinates the
    masters in development practice at Trinity College and University
    College Dublin. He has published in /Economic Geography/, /World
    Development/,/ Geoforum/ and /Political Geography/. His current research
    is a joint project focussing on how small businesses in South Africa and
    Tanzania use their mobile phones. His most recent book is /Globalization
    in Africa: Recolonization or Renaissance/, forthcoming, July 2010, Lynne

    Inanda's socio-spatial change

    Date: 9 July 2010
    Time: 12:30‑14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Seminar: Inanda in the longue duree of historical transformation
    Speaker: Giuliano Martiniello

    The presentation will deal with social trasformation in Inanda in the
    longue dureé. Analyzing the historical genesis of processes of reserves
    making, land dispossession and labour alienation will constitute the
    leitmotiv to understand contemporary socio‑spatial configurations. The
    paper will then focus on the different trajectories of socio‑spatial
    change analyzing the place making dynamics in two areas in Inanda:
    Inanda Newtown, a peri‑urban township, and the Kwangcolosi traditional
    community in the ex‑homelands.

    Giuliano Martiniello is a PhD student at the University of Leeds. He has
    undertaken extensive research in Inanda as a CCS visiting scholar. He is
    a contributing editor for the Review of African Political Economy Beside
    academic research Giuliano is an activist for social movements in Italy.

    Seminar on grassroots video communications

    Date: 8 July 2010
    Time: 12:30‑14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Seminar: Video as a tool for outreach, communication, advocacy and
    community expression
    Speaker: Pamela Ngwenya

    Over the past year, Pamela has been running video projects with various community groups throughout Durban, using video as a tool for outreach, communication, advocacy and community expression. Experimenting with different approaches to participatory film‑making and communication, she has been trying to use video to engage and enable groups in self‑advocating for their communities. Workshops have involved intensive skills‑training in basic video production techniques. There are currently 13 short community videos from Durban to share: 5 documentary shorts on community issues; 2 documentaries produced by community‑based students; and 6 community‑made films presenting their own issues. After presenting some background theory and methodology, some of the videos will be screened. Using these projects and videos as an inspiration and springboard for discussion, Pamela is focusing on developing ideas for future work around how social science can effectively and ethically employ video methods for research.

    Speaker Bio: Pamela is an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with SDS. She obtained her doctorate in Geography from Oxford University Centre for the Environment in 2009. Her research interests include food and agricultural geographies, environmental justice, the politics of nature, rural livelihoods, feminist philosophy, ethics, migration and mobility, Caribbean studies, creative expression and emotional/spiritual spatialities.

    Seminar on Black Economic Empowerment

    Date: 2 July 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Seminar: Is Black Economic Empowerment working?
    Speaker: Renee Horne
    Topic: South Africa’s Racial Redress policy, Black Economic Empowerment

    (BEE)/Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) in relation to
    political thought on race and class. Academics and politicians have
    argued that narrow BEE was designed to form a “black elite class”, this
    to the detriment of impoverished South Africans in the country, while
    BBBEE has been dubbed as an all inclusive and developmental approach
    alleviating the socio- economic disparities in the country. This
    dissertation plans to test the above hypotheses by the interviewing of
    prominent academics and politicians, while simultaneously comparing
    various BEE and BBBEE contracts.

    Speaker: Ms Renee Horne is currently a doctoral candidate and African
    politics and government teacher at the School of Oriental and African
    Studies (SOAS), University of London. Horne has a BA (LAW) (HONS) and MA
    (Politics) from the UKZN and a Mac (International Relations) from SOAS.
    She has worked as a SABC television and radio senior political
    journalist and war correspondent for more than ten years interviewing
    prominent politicians such as Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zama,
    Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres. She has covered socio-economic issues
    and political violence in KwaZulu-Natal and reported on conflict riddled
    areas of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Burundi.

    Green Resources Ltd in Tanzania

    CCS Seminar ‑ all welcome

    Date: 24 June 2010
    Time: 12:30‑14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Speaker: Blessing Karumbidza, Timberwatch and Tshwane University of
    Title: Banking on Poverty, Riding on Climate Change: Norwegian land
    grabbing and socio‑economic and environmental degradation in Tanzania's
    Southern Highlands

    Green Resources Ltd, a subsidiary of Norway based Green Resources
    (formerly Tree Farms) has entrenched itself in the Southern Highlands of
    Tanzania where it looks to acquire at least 142 000ha of land and a
    total of not less than 170 00ha in Tanzania alone. This will add to its
    already existing and expanding presence in other African countries such
    as Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique. This massive land grab occurs so as to
    plant exotic trees (varieties of eucalyptus and pine) for the purpose of
    selling an expected 400 000 tons of carbon credits to the Norwegian
    government. This project provides Norway with reasons not to reduce its
    own carbon emissions, on grounds that employment and other benefits will
    go to impoverished African communities, such as the Idete in the Iringa
    district. Yet studies of the plantation model and its impacts on local
    economies in Brazil, Equador, South Africa and Swaziland lead to doubt
    about these claims of Green Resources. Indeed, these projects represent
    a new form of colonialism, land grabs and carbon commodification as well
    as resource imperialism.

    Dr Blessing J. Karumbidza is a post‑doctoral fellow with the Institute
    for Economic Research on Innovation at the Tshwane University of
    Technology as well as Chair of the Timberwatch Environment and
    Development NGO Coalition. His work on the plantation model and its
    impacts on social, economic, cultural and environmental development
    started with his masters thesis on timber woodlots in KZN. Since then,
    he has been involved in the research and advocacy efforts of
    Timberwatch, traveled to Brazil, Equador, Kenya and recently Tanzania
    studying and sharing the experiences of timber plantation affected

    Re-branding Durban through the 2010 World Cup

    CCS Seminar - all welcome

    Date: 14 June 2010
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS Seminar Room, 602, Level 6, MTB Tower
    Title: Re-branding Durban through the production/policing of
    event-specific spaces at the 2010 World Cup
    Speaker: David J. Roberts

    As South African cities prepare to host the continent’s first
    FIFA World Cup, one of the host cities, Durban, has constructed plans to
    revitalize its city image through the media attention that will
    accompany the tournament. This paper explores a three-pronged strategy
    for the policing of event-specific public spaces during the tournament –
    the policing of nuisance behaviors, the restriction of protests by
    social movements, and the use of volunteer Welcome Ambassadors. These
    three endeavors will significantly impact the way in which public space
    in Durban is experienced during the World Cup for tourists and
    Durbanites alike. I argue that these public spaces give us a glimpse
    into the vision that city planners have for the city of Durban as an
    elite sports destination. The World Cup and the media coverage that it
    brings provides a rich opportunity for Durban to re-brand its image.
    Yet, the question remains as to how this will ultimately impact the
    future direction of city revitalization.

    Speaker bio: David Roberts is a PhD Candidate in the Department of
    Geography at the University of Toronto and a visiting research associate
    at the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity, University of
    KwaZulu-Natal. He is working on a research project investigating
    policing and tourist safety initiatives for 2010. In support of his
    work, David was awarded the 2008 João Havelange Research Scholarship.

    (This event will be skypecast; please contact Patrick Bond at to RSVP by 13 June.)

    Identity/Spatial Relations: scholar activism the greater Kei region

    Speaker: Jessie Lazar Knott
    Topic Title: Identity/Spatial Relations: scholar-activism in the greater
    Kei region of the Eastern Cape
    Date: Tuesday 25 May
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS, #602 Memorial Tower Building

    This seminar introduces an intensive fieldwork process on two research
    projects recently performed in the Greater Kei region of the Eastern
    Cape, from July 2009 until the present. During this time a seismic
    eruption of knowledge and issues were exposed as a consequence of the
    region’s volatile neglect as a site of struggle worthy of attentive
    (re)in(ter)vention. This socio-political indifference from an
    ‘intra-national’, neo-liberally co-opted, institutional, economic,
    social, media and intellectual gaze, not only creates the conditions for
    a veritable breeding ground of viral-like corruption, but a stagnation
    of energies that effect a gridlock of seemingly intractable social
    problems surrounding issues of identity (agency), in relation to
    structures, and modalities of imposed violences. The first project (the
    main focus of this seminar) is of rural transformation of a small
    Eastern Cape town in collaboration with UCT’s INCUDISA and UKZN’s SDS.
    It interrogates how social actor identities have changed as an effect of
    political transformation; and how particular identities are connected to
    a sense of space, determining a sense of ‘self’ and ‘place’ within the
    space, and in relation to the greater (global) context and topographies
    of power.

    The second project documents a long struggle as an independent
    researcher and social actor, with an international NGO based in Seattle,
    seeking to intervene in local amaPhondo communities to effect a
    political transformation in Infant Feeding Practices of HIV positive
    mothers. Both research projects while separate began at the same time,
    and are theoretically and conceptually connected by the intent to
    divulge practical self-determined strategies of (re)integration as a
    post-transformative effect. The methodology and language of the ongoing
    sites of struggles – of bodies occupying spaces – for citizenship
    participation and rights in relation to South Africa’s democratisation
    project, subsequently emerged as the primary focus of both projects.

    Revealed by this process is a particular clarity on the dialectical
    process we’re all struggling to survive, and surmount, concerning the
    realisation of citizenship participation and rights, scholar-activism,
    and our sense of being in relation to the tidal wave of crises –
    ecological, financial, political and social – observed and experienced
    at the most local of levels, as acute subjugation of ‘self’ and ecology
    in relation to a particular matrix, operationalised via discourses of
    dominance imposed upon social actors, at a trans-national level.

    Speaker Bio:
    Jessie Lazar Knott is a photographer, documentary maker, and researcher
    who has been back in South Africa for just over two years following her
    ‘long journey to Timbuctou’; four years crossing overland from South
    Korea to India, documenting what passes as social life. A recent MA
    graduate (cum laude) from UKZN’s School of Development Studies, her
    thesis interrogated African ontological primacy manifesting in uBuntu as
    radical democratic governance towards a socially and politically just
    integrated Africa. Reality, knowledge production, social processes,
    protest-as-performative-being, ideas, power, and how everything connects
    to everything else in word and pixel form makes her spirit thrum. This
    passion is being gathered into a PhD specialising in political ecology,
    comparing the realities of the former Transkei and Cuba, looking
    especially at women; our bodies in relation to our ecologies, through a
    ‘black’ consciousness lens.

    Chatsworth politics and municipal advocacy

    Speakers: Barak Hoffman, with reply by Orlean Naidoo
    Topic: Chatsworth politics and municipal advocacy: What works, what
    doesn't and why
    Date: Monday, 17 May
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS, #602 Memorial Tower Building

    Why are some advocacy efforts in South Africa more effective than
    others? Existing studies do not use research designs that allow them to
    answer this crucial question. This paper attempts to account for why
    some advocacy campaigns are more effective than others. It compares a
    successful one, a campaign for improved access to municipal services,
    to an unsuccessful one, demands to remove drug dealers, in Chatsworth, a
    poor suburb of Durban. Since in both cases, the same group of people led
    the advocacy effort against the same local government, our research
    design overcomes the problems of existing studies. The results suggest
    two factors are critical for protest to lead to greater government
    accountability in South Africa today. First, the government unit that is
    the target of the protest must have the capacity to respond to the
    activists’ demands. Second, more powerful interests must not oppose the
    change the advocates are seeking. The work has important implications
    for other organizations in South Africa seeking greater government
    accountability as it can devise more effective strategies and issues.

    Barak Hoffman is the Director of the Center for Democracy and Civil
    Society at Georgetown University. Prior to this position, Dr. Hoffman
    was a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and
    the Rule of Law at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in
    Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and his
    MA and BA in Economics from Michigan State University and Brandeis
    University, respectively. Before obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Hoffman worked
    for the Federal Reserve, the United States Agency for International
    Development, and the UnitedStates Department of the Treasury.

    As respondent, Orlean Naidoo has been one of the central civic leaders
    of Chatsworth for more than a decade. She is a Community Scholar at the
    Centre for Civil Society.

    Oil, minerals and maldevelopment in Africa

    Speakers: Khadija Sharife, with reply by Eunice Sahle
    Topic: Oil, minerals and maldevelopment in Africa
    Date: Thursday, 13 May
    Time: 12:30-14:00
    Venue: CCS, #602 Memorial Tower Building

    Since the era of the African Berlin Conference (1885), the continent has
    been packaged as in need of external ‘expert civilising’ intervention
    for the purpose of ‘development’. The result, instead, is artificial
    poverty, famine, conflict, ecological degradation and behavioural
    corruption. The first task is to demonstrate that the extraction of
    non-renewable resources from Africa is not ‘development’, but looting.
    This requires a deconstruction of GDP and assessment of whether ‘natural
    capital’ measurements by the Bretton Woods Institutions alert us to a
    different set of policy implications than their standard liberalisation
    strategy. The case studies make it clear that multinational corporations
    are running roughshod: Tanzanian gold, DRC coltan, Zambian copper, Niger
    uranium, South African coal, and oil in Angola, Gabon, and Nigeria. What
    prospects are there for resistance to minerals and petroleum extraction?

    Khadija Sharife is a journalist, policy analyst, research associate with
    the Tax Justice Network, a visiting scholar at the Center for Civil
    Society, and a student at Harvard University. Her work frequently
    appears in African periodicals including Pambazuka. She is the author of
    the forthcoming book Tax Us If You Can (Africa edition).

    Eunice N. Sahle is an Associate Professor at the University of North
    Carolina at Chapel Hill and visiting scholar at the University of
    KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society. Eunice’s current work focuses on
    geopolitics of knowledge production, imperialism, feminist political
    economy, political ecology, social movements and political economy of
    land. Her publications include the book World Orders, Development and
    Transformation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

    Zimbabwe civil society between constitutionalism and redistribution

    The University of KwaZulu‑Natal Centre for Civil Society Seminar welcomes you to a seminar:

    Topic: Zimbabwe civil society between constitutionalism and redistribution
    Speaker: Erin McCandless (commentary by Shepherd Zvavanhu)
    Date: Monday, 3 May 2010
    Time: 12:30‑2pm
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building 602, Howard College

    The National Constitutional Assembly and War Veterans are entirely
    different social forces, and both have helped shape narratives of civil
    society and politics. One is allied with the opposition and in early
    2000 defeated President Robert Mugabe's constitutional proposals; the
    other immediately took advantage of Mugabe's desperation to fulfill
    historic demands for land redistribution. What are the politics of
    transformation that we learn from these two distinct traditions? What
    electoral and mass‑action strategies and tactical approaches have come
    into play? What do they tell us about rights and redistribution, and
    about participation and resistance? What features of structure and
    agency must we consider in their stories?

    Erin McCandless is a frequent United Nations consultant and a faculty
    member of the New School for Social Research. Her doctorate in
    international relations was awarded by the American University in
    Washington, DC, and she is the founding co‑editor of the Journal of
    Peacebuilding and Development. She has lived in Zimbabwe and Liberia,
    and works with civil society organisations in diverse sites across the

    For more information contact Lungi Keswa, 260‑3195.

    Debunking Delusions: The inside Story of The Treatment Action Campaign

    Speakers: Nathan Geffen (with Faith ka Manzi)
    Date: Thursday 29 April
    Time: 11 am - 12:30 pm
    Venue: Room 300 2nd Floor MTB Howard College Campus

    The world capitalist crisis

    Date: Friday, 23 April 2010
    Time: 12:30 - 14:00
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building 6th floor, University of KwaZulu-Natal
    Howard College Campus
    Speakers: Alan Freeman and Radhika Desai
    Topic: The world capitalist crisis: Economic and geopolitical factors

    The upturn in world economics should not disguise the perpetual
    long-term nature of the crisis. Severe problems in maintaining capital
    accumulation and geopolitical stability will resume, and next time,
    civil society must be better prepared. The presentation draws on many
    years of work on political economy and politics by two of the world's
    leading contributors to the literature. Freeman and Desai have made this
    presentation to social movement and labour leadership in Cape Town and
    Johannesburg, to great acclaim.

    Freeman is Supervisory Economist at the Greater London Authority and
    Visiting Fellow, Department of City Planning, University of Manitoba.
    Books he has authored and co-edited include The Politics of Empire:
    Globalisation in crisis (Pluto, 2004); The New Value Controversy in
    Economics (Edward Elgar, 2001); Marx and Non-Equilibrium Economics
    (Edward Elgar, 1996); Marx, Ricardo, Sraffa (Verso, 1984); and The Benn
    Heresy (Pluto Press, 1982);

    Desai is Professor (and former Head) of the Department of Political
    Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her books include Developmental
    and Cultural Nationalisms (Routledge, 2008); Slouching Towards Ayodhya:
    From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (Three Essays, 2004);
    Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the British Labour
    Party (Lawrence and Wishart, 1994).

    For further details please contact the Centre for Civil Society’s Lungi
    or Helen at extension 3195 or 3577. Or come to the new office at the 5th
    floor, Memorial Tower Bldg, Howard College.


    Our works shows that 'globalisation' is a word that has been substituted
    for what is actually a phase of US policy that began and ended in the
    Clinton era, as it attempted to compensate for the long and inexorable
    decline in the relative economic status of the USA in the world. The
    core of the strategy was the opening up of world markets, especially
    world financial markets, for what was in effect a series of worldwide
    predatory raids on the third world by US corporations and a funnelling
    of world capital into the US to offset the US’s endemic trade deficits,
    funnel money into a giant US investment boom in the 1990s.

    Our work shows this is unsustainable. Economically it generates
    imbalances: growing world inequality and poverty, a growing mountain
    first of third-world and then of first-world debt resulting in an
    ever-greater series of bubbles cumulating in the last crash and, not
    least, the continued rise of US indebtedness and of its trade deficit.
    Politically and socially it is unsustainable because it is rendering
    countries ungovernable to the point where they generate national
    rebellions leading either to explicitly anti-'globalisation' governments
    as in Venezuela, Bolivia, and though less noticed, Iceland, or to
    permanent breakdown in social stability as in Sudan, with the prospect
    now that such instabilities will visit further European countries. Of
    course the crisis has also revealed the undermining of US hegemony with
    increasing political assertion from non-western countries, pre-eminently
    China but also others – IBSA in the WTO, and as witnessed in Copenhagen.

    Despite the great cost paid by the rest of the world for ‘globalization’
    (and its successor ‘empire'), this process has not rescued the US
    economy, which emerges from the crisis weaker than ever. Countries who
    rejected the full Washington Consensus, notably China but to some extent
    India, emerge onto the global scene with rates of economic growth which,
    notwithstanding internal contradictions that are stronger in India,
    point to the possibility of a very different, multi-polar world order.
    Success in establishing such an order would depend on decisive rejection
    of the most central planks of the 'globalisation consensus', hence
    capital controls and restraints on financial flows, national development
    programmes centring on state-led investment, systematic
    inequality-reduction drives centred on food, education, health and
    housing provision aimed particularly at the urban and rural poor, and a
    re-orientation of international trade relations in the South to focus on
    South-South economic ties and continent-wide integration (for example,
    cooperation with China, ALBA, etc)

    This analysis is both empirical, and has a theoretical underpinning. We
    believe that the 'globalisation' decades have fundamentally weakened the
    theoretical apparatus at the disposal of those who wish to understand
    what is happening in the world, providing a more or less ideological
    framework that facilitates the substitution of apologetics for rigorous
    analysis. We are working to create the conditions for intellectual
    renewal, both through a return to classical theory notably that from the
    anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist historical traditions, and through
    the promotion of new critical analysis and theory notably from the
    global south, and from writers - particularly young ones - whose work is
    kept from view by the gatekeeping mechanisms of modern academia. We are series editors of a new collection to be published by Pluto and entitled 'The Future of World Capitalism', with five works scheduled to launch in the spring of 2011.

    Our own work has a strong theoretical underpinning. Radhika's work on
    'globalisation' on which she is writing a book, will be published by
    Pluto and is to be entitled Capitalist Geopolitics and its Cosmopolitan
    Myths: debunking 'Globalisation' and 'Empire'. It takes on the
    'globalisation' bandwagon frontally, continuing and building on her
    previous work on the theoretical foundations of neoliberalism and on
    developmental and cultural nationalism.

    At the core of Alan's work is a re-appraisal of Marx's value theory,
    demonstrating that its continued relevance today has been obscured by
    'Marxism' - a theory that substitutes, for Marx's own theory, a
    neoclassical interpretation of this theory in which it becomes
    impossible to formulate the notion that capitalism possesses internal
    contradictions. This has blind-sided Marxism terminally, both in its
    inability to grasp the centrality of imperialism to the development of
    capitalism and its failure to understand what 'globalisation' really
    consisted of, and in its failure to underestand or even foresee the
    causes of the present crisis. Alan works with the International Working
    Group in Value Theory (IWGT) and the new journal Critique of Political
    Economy (COPE) to build a community of dedicated to a proper
    understanding and development of Marx's own theory.

    Relevant works

    Geoeconomic and Geopolitics
    From Alan the most relevant work on the growth of inequality is The
    Poverty of Statistics which appeared recently in Third World Quarterly
    ( This includes a much-cited
    graph showing how world inequality has grown, and demonstrating the
    fundamental distortions introduced by the World Bank statistics commonly
    used to prove that 'globalisation' has succeeded.

    An earlier work that covers some of the same ground in more detail is
    his chapter in The politics of Empire (Pluto). This can be found at

    Various other works on Alan's RepEc site (
    cover similar ground.

    Radhika has written about the central importance of industrialization
    and the state in national development strategies, about the historical
    significance of national bourgeoisies. She can do presentations on what
    is wrong with globalization discourse and with ‘empire’ discourse. (she
    did these at the LSE recently so they are ready.) Her book also offers a
    critique of Marxist account of capitalist geopolitics: she argues that
    most Marxists do not look at the theory of Uneven and Combined
    Development (UCD) and even those who do, like Alex Callinocos, are
    unable to truly operationalise it for one reason or another: they are
    mesmerized by cosmopolitical, US centred accouts of the world economy;
    they discount the role of nation-states; and most importantly, they take
    no account of the economic role of nation-states.

    Her work on nationalisms and nation-states argues, among other things,
    that nation states are not just cultural phenomena, but primarily
    economic ones, the products of UCD. This is captured in little economic
    theory – liberal or Marxist. But it has not warrant in Marx and requires
    us to combine Marx’s original and true understanding with Listian
    approaches and Polanyi/Keynes.

    The state of US economy
    Radhika’s forthcoming book, Capitalist Geopolitics and its Cosmopolitan
    Myths revolved primarily around the US economy and its changing
    relationship with the world economy in postwar era. It argues that,
    while the will and desire were definitely there, the US was never, and
    given the situation, could not be, the world’s hegemon, even in the
    1950s and 1960s, let alone later, when its economic weakness became more

    Alan's prescient Europe, the US and the world economy: Alan Greenspans
    search for a fifth Kondradieff
    ( was delivered in Ankara
    on 9/11/2001 and sought to show that the USA had failed to launch a
    sustainable new process of growth, and would instead be driven in the
    direction of increasingly military solutions to its own problems, and
    those of its making in the global South

    Subsequent shorter works have followed up on this at regular intervals,
    notably Globalisation: economic stagnation and divergence
    ( and What makes the US Profit
    Rate Fall? (, the second of
    which also addresses why the contemporary 'Marxist' framework has been
    incapable of understanding the causes of the crisis and why Marx's own
    remains still superior.

    When the crisis broke, we wrote a series of joint short empirical
    pieces, notably How Bad is US Unemployment
    (org/p/pra/mprapa/13740.html) and How Much is Enough
    ( showing that this crisis was
    exceptional in depth and that its only true comparator was the 1929 crisis.

    Arising out of this insight, Alan produced a book chapter which is not
    in the public domain but is attached entitled Investing In Civilisation
    which, by analysing the way the US got out of the 1929 crisis, argues
    that humanity is at a bifurcation point: We can get out of the crisis by
    adopting radically different solutions to economic management, centred
    on a central role for the state in realising what I term a
    'civilizational step change' - raising the living and cultural standards
    of the great majority of people to a fundamentally higher level by
    estending to them new capacities which capitalism has developed but
    confined only to a few, and adopting and incorporating both the existing
    rights of the UN charter such as health, education, housing and health,
    and adding new rights that the economy can sustain but capitalism turns
    its back on - including the right to the environment, the right to art,
    sports and culture, and the right to care. If this is not done, Alan
    argues, we will see a return to the actual policies that brought about
    the recovery from 1929 - fascism, war, and hitherto unimagined levels of
    world brutality and barbarism.

    Alan is working on a book Investing in Civilisation which will develop
    these themes fully

    Radhika can also make a presentation on the dollar’s long-standing
    problems as the world’s currency and potential solutions to it (this is
    the subject of the article she’s written called ‘Keynes Redux’ which she
    can send.

    Underpinnings: Marx and Keynes
    We share the view that modern economics and politics have suffered
    through a fundamental, and ideologically-imposed misreading of both Marx
    and Keynes, two of the greatest thinkers of the last two centuries. What
    passes for Marxism, and what passes for Keynesianism, are a travesty of
    what these thinkers actually said. In our view, a return to their
    original thought is required, not out of some holy respect for the texts
    but because of the lost requirement of genuine scholarship which the
    early radicals understood and their successors have forgotten, namely:
    whether you agree or disagree with a thinker, to evolve a superior
    theory you have to understand, and engage with, the actual theory of
    that thinker and not some substiute interpretation. When this is done,
    we find that they do often provide better answers than their successors
    and, in particular, provide a framewok for developing answers to new
    problems that is superior to that offered by their successors.

    Alan has co-edited three books on value theory: Marx, Ricardo and Sraffa
    (co-edited with Ernest Mandel), Marx and non-equilibrium economics
    (co-edited with Gugliermo Carchedi) and The New Value Controversy in
    Economics (co-edited with Andrew Kliman and Julian Wells). His man works
    on Marx's value theory are best approached through his chapters in these
    books which are now available on his RepEc site and the best starting point is
    his recent short article in Capital and Class this year, which is not
    yet in the public domain and is attached. Please note this version is
    not for wide circulation at this point under copyright restrictions.

    Radhika has just finished a piece on ‘Consumption Demand in Marx and in the Current Crisis’. She can speak to: How consumption demand is a central theme in Gurndrisse and capital (3 vols) What is wrong with making the argument that consumption demand is not a factor in capitalist reproduction and a cause of crisis Where this argument originally came from and what made it endure. How this connects Marx with Luxemburg, Kalecki, Keynes and Hobson.

    Our book series which you can find out more about at We are particularly looking for authors and
    potential authors since an important aim of the series is to ensure that
    new, young, and third world voices are heard people interested in Marx's value theory on which we have a specific and orginal contribution, the upshot of the work of a growing group of scholars laying a solid basis for a radical break with present sterile thinking among Marxists, and a return to classical thinking on the economic relevance of value theory to understanding both the crisis and


    Centre for Civil Society Seminar

    Date: 19 March 2010
    Time: 13:00 ‑ 14:00
    Venue: G5, Westville Campus
    Speakers: workers, Zama Hlatshwayo (Workers' Forum), Trevor Ngwane (CCS)

    All members of the university community, students and staff, are invited
    to attend a seminar to address workers’ issues on campus. The story of
    cleaning staff losing their jobs on Westville campus due to the
    university terminating the contract it had with a company has been
    appearing in the press recently. What is happening at our university?
    The seminar will seek to provide a full and accurate picture of what
    happened from the university’s, the contract company’s and the workers’
    point of view. The problem will be addressed in the context of the
    challenges facing workers employed by contract companies on campus. The
    seminar will also seek to provide a platform for other members of the
    university community to share their views on this issue. It is also a
    chance for sympathisers to pledge solidarity with the fired workers.

    Please attend.

    For further details please contact the Centre for Civil Society’s Lungi
    or Helen at extension 3195 or 3577. Or come to the office at the 5th
    floor, Memorial Tower Bldg, Howard College

    Online Video about UKZN contract workers

    UKZN Contract Workers' Struggle from Pamela Ngwenya on Vimeo.

    Carol Thompson seminar on resisting agro-industry

    Date: 18 March 2010
    Time: 12:30 ‑ 14:00
    Venue: Sixth floor, Memorial Tower Building
    Speaker: Carol B. Thompson, Professor, Political Economy
    Topic: Our Food Future: African Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture

    The number of hungry people on the planet rose to 1 billion in 2008,
    with another 4 million added each year, yet industrial agriculture of
    the North heralds its increased yields. Industrial agriculture is
    responsible for about 40% of global warming, yet claims that Africa
    needs its fossil fuel‑intensive production to withstand climate change.
    Instead, African farmers already engage alternative farming systems to
    mitigate climate change, sustain agricultural biodiversity and promote
    food sovereignty. What are these alternatives? Which civil society
    organisations are promoting them? How can they be sustained against the
    power of global food conglomerates?

    Carol Thompson is currently working in the policy analysis unit of
    Community Technology Development Trust, Zimbabwe. Having worked and
    written about Southern African food security for many years, her latest
    book is Biopiracy of Biodiversity, co‑authored with Andrew Mushita. She
    is an activist scholar, organising in the USA against the Alliance for
    a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA).

    Fifa's Looting of South Africa

    The University of KwaZulu‑Natal Centre for Civil Society Seminar welcomes you to a seminar:

    Topic: Fifa's Looting of South Africa
    Speaker: Dave Zirin
    Date: Saturday, 13 March 2010
    Time: 12:30–14:30
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F601, Howard College (NEW LOCATION: CCS's new quarters atop Durban's highest building)

    Dave Zirin is one of the world's greatest social commentators on sports,
    and has authored four books, including A People's History of Sport in
    the United States. He writes for The Nation, Huffington Post Sports
    Illustrated, and many other outlets, and is a regular television and
    radio commentator. His visit to South Africa is sponsored in part by the
    Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Harold Wolpe Trust, and on 11 March he
    appears twice at the UKZN Centre for Creative Arts Time of the Writer
    festival honouring his late friend Dennis Brutus (noon and 5:30pm).
    Zirin will comment on the new documentaries Trademark 2010 and
    Fahrenheit 2010, and describe his experience with Bad Sport, i.e.
    when commodification and commercialisation destroy the grace and art of
    sport ‑ and how civil society can resist.

    The South Africa World Cup: Invictus in Reverse
    Dave Zirin: Sports correspondent for The Nation Magazine

    Johannesburg ‑ You see it the moment you walk off the plane: a mammoth
    soccer ball hanging from the ceiling of Johannesburg International
    Airport festooned with yellow banners that read, 2010 Let's Go! WORLD
    CUP! If you swivel your head, you see that every sponsor has joined the
    party ‑ Coca Cola, Anheuser‑Busch ‑ all branded with the FIFA seal. It's
    when your head dips down that you see another, less sponsored, universe.

    Even inside this gleaming state‑of‑the‑art airport, men ranging in age
    from 16‑60 ask if they can shine your shoes, carry your bags, or even
    walk you to a cab. It's the informal economy fighting for breathing room
    amidst the smothering sponsorship. Welcome to South Africa, a remarkable
    place of jagged contrasts: rich and poor; black and white, immigrant and
    everyone else. On a normal week, it's the dispossessed and the
    self‑possessed fighting for elbow room. But the 2010 World Cup, which
    starts in 90 days, has taken these contrasts and propelled them into

    The present situation in South Africa could be called Invictus in
    reverse. For those who haven't had the pleasure, the film Invictus is
    about the way Nelson Mandela used sport, particularly the near all‑white
    sport of rugby to unite the country after the fall of apartheid. The
    coming World Cup has in contrast, provoked the camouflage of every
    conflict to present the image of a united nation to the world.

    As Danny Jordaan, the World Cup's lead South African organizer said,
    People will see we are African. We are world‑class. Note that the
    concern is about what the world sees not what South Africans see. What
    South Africans see, as one young man told me, is, Football ..looting
    our country. The contrasts are becoming conflicts because the
    government at the behest of FIFA is determined to put on a good show, no
    matter the social cost.

    There are the dispossessions as thousands have been forced from their
    homes into makeshift shantytowns, to both make way for stadiums and make
    sure that tourists don't have to see any depressing scenes of poverty.
    The United Nations even issued a complaint on behalf of the 20,000
    people removed from the Joe Slovo settlement in Cape Town, called an
    eyesore by World Cup organizers.

    There is the crackdown on people who make their living selling goods by
    the stadiums. Regina Twala who has been vending outside soccer matches
    for almost 40 years, has been told that she and others must be at least
    one kilometer from the stadiums at all times. She said to the Sunday
    Independent, They say they do not want us here. They do not want us
    near the stadium and we have to close the whole place.

    In addition, FIFA has pushed the South African government to announce
    that they would arrest any vendors that sell products emblazoned with
    the words World Cup or even the date 2010. Samson, a trader in
    Durban, said to me, This is the way we have always done business by the
    stadium. Who makes the laws now: FIFA?

    Samson was only referencing the threats toward vendors, but he could
    have been speaking about the series of laws South Africa has passed to
    prepare for the tournament. Declaring the World Cup a protected event,
    the government, in line with FIFA requirements, has passed by‑laws that
    spell out where people may drive and park their cars, where they may
    and may not trade or advertise, and where they may walk their dogs.
    They've made clear that beggars or even those found of using foul
    language (assumedly off the field of play) could be subject to arrest.

    Then there are the assassinations. In a story that has garnered
    international news but little buzz in the United States, two people on a
    list of 20, have been assassinated for whistle‑blowing on suspected
    corruption in the construction of the $150 million Mbombela Stadium. The
    Sunday World newspaper attained the list, which included two journalists
    and numerous political leaders. There are accusations swirling that the
    list is linked to the ruling African National Congress, which the ANC
    has denied in bizarre terms, The ANC...wants to reiterate its
    condemnation of any murder of any person no matter what the motive may
    be, said ANC spokesperson Paul Mbenyane. It's never a good sign when
    you have to make clear that you are anti‑murder.

    All of these steps‑ displacements, crackdowns on informal trade, even
    accusations of state‑sponsored assassinations ‑ have an echo for people
    from the days of apartheid. It's provoked a fierce, and wholly
    predictable resistance. In a normal month, South Africa has more
    protests per capita than any nation on earth. But when you factor in the
    World Cup crackdown, a simmering nation can explode. Over 70,000 workers
    have taken part in strikes connected to World Cup projects since the
    preparations have begun, with 26 strikes since 2007. On March 4th, more
    than 250 people, in a press conference featuring representatives from
    four provinces, threatened to protest the opening game of the Cup unless
    their various demands were met.

    These protests should not be taken lightly. A woman named Lebo said to
    me, We have learned in South Africa that unless we burn tires, unless
    we fight police, unless we are willing to return violence on violence,
    we will never be heard, Patrick Bond from the Center Civil Society in
    Durban said to me that protests should be expected: Anytime you have
    three billion people watching, that's called leverage. Indeed.

    There is a scene in Invictus where Freeman's Mandela says, I thank
    whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. I am the master of my
    fate. The people of South Africa still consider themselves
    unconquerable: whether they face apartheid, FIFA, or their current
    government. But FIFA insists with equal insistence that the World Cup
    will brook no dissent. In 90 days, we'll find out who masters the fate
    of this beloved country.

    [Dave Zirin is the author of the forthcoming Bad Sports: How Owners are
    Ruining the Games we Love (Scribner) Receive his column every week by
    emailing Contact him at

    Understanding Protest Action in South Africa

    Topic: Understanding Protest Action in South Africa
    Speaker: Trevor Ngwane
    Date: Tuesday 9 March 2010
    Time: 13:00–14:30 (NOTE NEW TIME)
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F208, Howard College, UKZN

    In an effort to gain insight into the current wave of protest engulfing
    the country, Trevor Ngwane has conducted various interviews with leading
    activists in Khutsong, Siyathemba (Balfour), Intabazwe (Harrismith),
    Bushbuckridge, Sakhile (Standerton) and Soweto in recent weeks. Several
    preliminary themes are emerging strongly from the fieldwork. This
    seminar will share these findings and provide an opportunity for
    feedback on the current state of protest action in South Africa.

    Trevor Ngwane is a Masters student in the School of Development Studies,
    based at the Centre for Civil Society. He is taking time off from his
    activist routine to reflect on his experiences, renew his energy levels
    and replenish his intellectual sources. The research presented at this
    seminar forms part of his dissertation. Over the last decade he has
    organised, coordinated and participated in many protest actions in his
    capacity as organiser of the Anti‑Privatisation Forum and the Soweto
    Electricity Crisis Committee. He also bore witness to protest action
    during the height of the struggle against apartheid that laid the basis
    for the new democratic order in South Africa. His experiences and
    thoughts point to important continuities, and significant
    discontinuities, between anti‑apartheid and post‑apartheid social and
    economic struggles. He believes vision is crucial in taking forward the
    struggle today.

    By Trevor Ngwane

    South Africa has arguably the highest rate of protest action in the
    world.[1] In the debate on the role and nature of civil society some
    light might be shed from a consideration of the widespread protests that
    pepper the South African landscape.[2] In this chapter we will look at
    how civil society, in the form of working class communities, is taking
    action to influence social change in South Africa. The masses
    ostensibly are interfering with history in order to push their agenda.
    What is the thrust of this agenda? What will it take for the masses to
    succeed? These are the questions this chapter tries to answer by way of
    a brief account of the protest action taking place in the country,
    consideration of the different the causes of the protests, and an
    assessment of the politics of the protests.

    Protest politics played a crucial role in the struggle that culminated
    in the transition from apartheid to democracy. Protests continue to
    play a role in the democratic post-apartheid South African society
    although it as yet unclear what the long term implications are for the
    country. The history of the anti-apartheid struggles suggests that
    protest politics can be essential in the struggle to create a better and
    more just society. Forms of mass mobilization such as demonstrations,
    marches, protests and direct action are, therefore, modes of political
    engagement that help ordinary people to challenge vested interest in
    order to win their demands and satisfy their needs. From this point of
    view, protest politics are not a threat to democracy, they can actually
    strengthen democracy by ensuring that the voice of the weak, the
    downtrodden and the excluded is heard. In the South African context
    this appears to apply to the legitimate democratic – and neoliberal –
    government of the ANC as much as it did to the illegitimate apartheid
    regime. I will argue below that protest action alone is not enough as
    it is only one component of the struggle; what is also necessary is a
    transformative politics that facilitates the generation of new forms of
    governance and new forms of ownership that will replace or transform the
    present imperfect ones. For such a politics to emerge and develop,
    alternative visions of society are necessary. It is my contention and
    the main argument of this chapter that that alternative visions would
    immensely enhance the transformative potential of the issue by issue,
    community by community, protest politics gripping the country today.

    South Africa has a proud history of the use of mass mobilization to
    achieve popular ends. Protests and mass action have characterized our
    political history from about the early 20th century until the dawn of
    democracy. People took to the streets, either in marches,
    demonstrations or the erection of barricades, with the aim of winning
    political, economic or social demands. For the purpose of analysis, it
    is possible to identify and delineate waves of mass mobilization that
    took place during different periods of the country’s political history
    such as the military resistance during the 19th century wars of
    conquest, the strikes and worker action that convulsed the 1920’s, the
    defiance campaign demonstrations of the 1950’s, the student uprisings
    and resurgence of strike action in the 1970’s, and the call in the
    1980’s to make South Africa ungovernable that saw the apartheid regime
    relent and scurry to the negotiating table.

    Throughout these struggles we can detect varying forms and methods of
    organization, discern different and sometimes conflicting political
    perspectives and, with hind sight, make evaluations of the
    effectiveness, success, strengths and weaknesses of the struggles. The
    mass mobilizations against apartheid were waged against a hated regime,
    a state viewed as illegitimate and oppressive. The struggle in South
    Africa engendered perhaps the greatest international solidarity movement
    in history with many civil society organizations in different countries
    denouncing apartheid and exerting pressure on their respective
    governments and corporations to do the same.[3]

    When Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and became president of the
    country it marked a turning point in the history of the country. For
    many it represented the culmination and end of many decades, even
    centuries, of struggle. It was the beginning of a new and happy era.
    Once the new government was in place, an ambiguous attitude towards
    protest politics developed. Political leaders appeared to relegate
    protest action to the bad old days of the apartheid era and viewed it as
    an aberration in the democratic “new South Africa”. They made a sharp
    distinction between the old illegitimate government and the new people’s
    government and frowned upon mass action against the latter. It was
    suggested that mass mobilization should be used to support government
    programmes and positions rather than oppose them. Where people insisted
    on protesting in the streets it was expected that such action would be
    orderly and “non-disruptive”. Since protests might weaken “our”
    government, other ways had to be found to draw attention to things the
    government might be missing or doing wrong.[4] In addition, there was
    an anxiety with what was perceived as a carry-over of the politics of
    protest and resistance from the past into the present era. The new
    government, for example, felt it necessary to organize against the
    “culture of non-payment” and in this respect launched a special campaign
    (“Masakhane”: let us build together/each other) to teach the masses to
    pay for their services and end the mentality garnered from the boycott
    of service payments during the apartheid days.

    Some commentators argue that protest action was not the only form of
    mass participation discouraged. The role of civil society itself was
    reviewed and recast as not always good for “development”.[5] The ANC,
    as head of the national liberation movement, closed down many
    organizations that epitomized the characteristic vibrancy and militancy
    of civil society under apartheid. The biggest and most important
    organization that was closed down was the United Democratic Front; this
    was justified on the grounds of the “new balance of forces” and the
    strategic imperatives of the new political situation. On hindsight,
    given the subsequent embracing of neoliberalism by the ANC government,
    it increasingly seems as if the political motives behind the
    demobilization and disorganization of the masses was a deliberate
    weakening of civil society by the new rulers to undermine opposition to
    its unpopular policies. The masses were being robbed of their agency
    and being reduced to spectators and at best supporters of the unfolding
    political process. The leaders knew best and they had to be left to
    lead. Perhaps this was harder to see at the time because everyone was
    too busy watching the drama of the unfolding transition. People held
    their breath in awe of the dawning of a new era. Whatever the reasons
    and motivations, a lull in mass mobilization and protests ensued.

    The penny dropped in 1996 when the ANC government announced that it was
    abandoning the mildly redistributive Reconstruction and Development
    Programme (RDP) in favour of the neoliberal Growth, Employment and
    Redistribution(GEAR) macro-economic policy. The die had been cast. The
    new government had chosen the path it was going to travel; it was
    embarking on a neoliberal project. Henceforth it was going to
    prioritise the interests of big business and pursue economic growth;
    redistribution of wealth would take place according to a trickle-down
    model. In practice this meant that the masses would have to wait longer
    for the economic benefits of freedom and democracy. In some instances
    it would involve the masses losing some benefits they had enjoyed under
    apartheid.[6] This unexpected development sparked off some harsh
    criticism but no significant protest action accompanied this momentous
    rightward shift in policy and ideological orientation by the new
    government. The SACP and COSATU protested verbally but their opposition
    was contained and muted by their loyalty and allegiance to the hegemonic
    bloc, the ANC-SACP-COSATU Tripartite Alliance.

    Despite all this it looked like protest politics are ingrained in the
    collective psyche of the South African masses. The first wave of
    protests took place around and immediately after liberation. This first
    wave consisted of the much-ridiculed “popcorn protests” that dotted the
    political scene for a short while. These protests were sporadic but
    there were enough of them to form a trend. They involved expressing
    dissatisfaction with what we now call “service delivery”, namely,
    municipal services, housing, roads, etc. People mobilized, for example,
    in Tembisa, a working class township on the East Rand, where residents
    fought against electricity cut-offs. Some of the “popcorn” protests
    seem to have been organized by new community organization that were
    independent of the newly-constructed hegemony of the ANC and its
    alliance partner, including its civic arm, the South African National
    Civics Organisation.

    More research needs to be done on this first wave of protests after
    independence. It should be noted that most communities developed local
    civic bodies during apartheid days which often followed the contours of
    the particular history and dynamics of the area in question and the
    character of the local leadership. However, many of these grassroots
    organizations were gradually hegemonised by the “Congress tradition” as
    the struggle against apartheid peaked and it became clear that the ANC
    was going to be the new ruling party in South Africa.[7] The ushering
    in of the new government and the excitement surrounding this raised
    expectations, a development that might have accentuated frustration
    leading to protests. Some communities and their leaders probably found
    it necessary to assert themselves and make their demands heard given the
    then rapidly changing political landscape and balance of forces. The
    new order must have also undermined local vested interest and the
    response to this took the form of protest action in some areas.

    The popcorn (or “mushroom”) protests were marked by a degree of
    militancy such as in the example of Tembisa referred to above where
    residents invented “Operation Khanyisa”, re-connecting themselves to the
    electricity grid after being cut off for non-payment.[8] I imagine many
    creative collective actions were taken by communities responding to the
    possibilities offered by the dawn of democracy. For example, there was
    a sudden increase in the number of informal settlements in the country
    as people invaded land and put up their shacks. Everyone wanted to have
    a place in the sun and a piece of the pie.

    A negative development during these early post-apartheid days of protest
    was the regimentation and ritualisation of the protests. Protest action
    increasingly took the form of marches. The response of the authorities
    was to contain the action by making use of the Public Gathering Act
    which had a leveling effect on the militancy of the marches. To have a
    march you needed to apply, fill a form, write letters of notification to
    your adversary or target, attend a meeting with the police and national
    intelligence operatives, plan the route and times of the action jointly
    with the police, and end the march with the obligatory memorandum of
    grievances. The authorities played hardball trying to make the marches
    as short, invisible and non-threatening as possible. While one should
    not underestimate the political importance of these chaperoned protests,
    it soon became clear to the masses that the march was sometimes unable
    to elicit positive policy change from the government. Some senior
    officials were accused of simply ignoring the protest marches. Recent
    research suggests that some memoranda submitted by marchers were not
    seriously considered nor responded to by the authorities despite the
    government’s projection of itself as responsive and the government’s
    formal petitions response procedure.[9]

    We now turn briefly to the one-day general strikes by COSATU that took
    place towards the end of the 1990’s when the union federation felt
    compelled to act against privatization. The opposition to privatization
    was a direct challenge to GEAR, the government’s neoliberal
    macroeconomic policy. Many government workers were finding themselves
    “outsourced”, that is, removed from the government payroll and
    re-employed by contract companies. In some cases government departments
    became companies and the workers’ conditions of service changed mostly
    for the worst. A landmark struggle arose when, in 1997, the
    Johannesburg city council unveiled a comprehensive neoliberal
    restructuring programme.[10] At the same time the University of the
    Witwatersrand was laying off hundreds of workers with its goal being to
    outsource workers. The combination of the two struggles, against
    municipal privatization and against university neoliberal restructuring,
    saw the birth of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) in 2000, a body that
    would be central in the next wave of protest action that took hold of
    the country organized by the “new social movements”.[11] Despite these
    developments and, notably the massive one-day strikes, the government
    did not move away from its stubborn neoliberal course.

    The rise of protest action and mass mobilizations organized by social
    movement organizations, such as the APF, the Treatment Action Campaign,
    the Anti-Eviction Campaign, Jubilee South Africa, Landless Peoples
    Movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo and other organizations, heralded
    another wave of struggle in South Africa. The background to this is to
    be found in the increasing deterioration in living standards experienced
    by the working class as neoliberal policy started to bite. The
    neoliberal regime’s policies had immediate negative consequences for the
    masses. For example, the policy of cost recovery in the provision of
    basic services meant that people had to pay steeply rising prices for
    essential services such as water and electricity. It also meant less
    houses being built as government tried to keep costs down in line with
    neoliberal’s fiscal discipline and austerity regimen. Disaster struck
    and was partly averted by civil society mobilization lead by the
    Treatment Action Campaign, one of the new social movements, when
    President Mbeki’s administration tried to duck responsibility for the
    provision of medical treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. The
    victory against the myopic HIV denialism no doubt saved many lives.
    Arguably, it also symbolizes the effectiveness of social mobilization
    and protest organized at the level of civil society. There has been no
    such victory, despite mobilization led by the Landless Peoples Movement,
    against the neoliberal policy of “willing seller and willing buyer” that
    has slowed down the South African land reform programme to a snail’s
    pace.[12] Nor has Jubilee South Africa, a social movement organization
    organising against the repayment of the apartheid, managed to stop the
    government’s approach to this question. Mostly fighting issue by
    issue, the new social movements and their mass mobilization marked a
    definite period or wave in the history of protest action in the country.
    Each significant aspect of the government’s neoliberal policy pushed
    the masses into struggle and facilitated organization.

    The new social movements arose at a time when the world was on fire
    because of the anti-globalisation (anti-capitalist) movement that
    dramatically entered into the history books in Seattle in 1999. This
    global movement tremendously transformed our conceptions of civil
    society. South African protests organized by the new social movements
    are best understood against the stage set by this bigger international
    movement as much as arising out of the specific conditions and
    challenges of the South African struggle. Further research into the
    question is likely to reveal that new social movement activism in South
    Africa presents with some of the characteristics, strengths and
    weaknesses of the global movement. It is noteworthy that the decline of
    the new social movements in South Africa has broadly coincided with that
    of the international movement.

    The authorities did not take kindly to the militant actions of the new
    social movements. Many of them tended to be politically critical of the
    ANC government and its neoliberal policy. Some of them went so far as
    to demand fundamental social change notably calling for an end to
    capitalism and its replacement by socialism.[13] They were also prone
    to resort to militant forms of mass action including “direct action”.
    The ANC leadership organized the ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance to unite
    behind a line that denounced the social movement organizations as
    anti-government and indeed counter-revolutionary. The president of the
    country then, Thabo Mbeki, took it upon himself to be champion of this
    battle against the social movements and in the process achieved a
    division between important segments of South African civil society thus
    arguably weakening these. ANC-SACP-COSATU alliance members were
    encouraged to be hostile to the social movements despite the ostensible
    commonality of their problems. An exception to the rule was the TAC
    which somehow managed to work with COSATU despite the twists and turns
    of the relationship. It can be argued that this is one major weakness
    of this wave of struggle lead by the social movement organizations, the
    struggle of the workers at work and of the workers in the community took
    the form of two independent, mutually exclusive and even hostile
    struggles. This bifurcation of struggle weakened the struggle somewhat.

    The last wave of mass action is the current one which consists of local
    community uprisings and militant national strikes. The first such
    community uprising took place in Diepsloot, a sprawling dormitory
    township and shanty town north of Johannesburg, in 2004. Everyone was
    caught by surprise. One day it was quiet the next the community was
    running berserk barricading roads, stoning cars, burning council offices
    and having running battles with the police. The struggle was mainly
    over housing although there are many issues to organize around in this
    desolate place that started as a “transition camp”.[14] The next
    community to rise up in rebellion was Intabazwe, a working class
    township attached to Harrismith, a small town situated halfway between
    Durban and Johannesburg in the Free State province. Seventeen-year old
    Teboho Mkhonza, a high school student, was shot dead by the police
    during the fracas. This community appeared to have sparked off a series
    of similar uprisings in several small towns and townships in the Free
    State. My own tentative research into this phenomenon suggests that the
    expulsion of rural workers from the commercial farms in the province and
    the decline in mining activity put pressure on the livelihoods of some
    these small communities thus leading to eruptions. The riot movement
    spread to the Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng and to other provinces,
    notably the Mpumalanga province. The peculiar characteristics of these
    community protests were established quite early on in this movement:
    they tend to have broad support and involve a big section of the
    community, they are often violent and disruptive and their demands
    relate to the provision of basic services, the accountability of
    councilors and corruption. Housing is a central issue as many of the
    communities are shack settlements or have significant sections of the
    community housed in the shacks. The community leaders in some areas
    tend to use the word “development” quite a lot to denote what they and
    the people want. Development means some improvement in the area: jobs,
    roads, electricity, recreation facilities, local economic development,
    etc. It should be noted that a study of the demands of the communities
    in question reveal a wide and deep range of issues, styles and emphases
    which reflect each areas’ circumstances: history, politics,
    organization, leadership, etc. However the riots quickly acquired a
    nomenclature, “service delivery protests” which has stuck but whose
    descriptive accuracy is subject to question.[15] Since about 2004
    until today they have steadily increased in number and notably peaking
    around the time President Zuma was elected president of the country in
    April 2009 and, to date, showing no sign of abating.[16]

    There are a number of points one can note about this last wave of mass
    action. Firstly, it has been around for a long time, about 5 years.
    Secondly, it has had its peaks and downswings but the trend seems to be
    steadily increasing and spreading to new areas.[17] Thirdly, a strike
    wave accompanied the wave of protests in the community although there
    was no clear or immediate connection between the strikes and the
    uprisings. In 2007 workers took to the streets in the biggest public
    sector strike in the history of South Africa. There were also several
    important national strikes in the private sector that gripped the
    country just before the great strike. These strikes were bitter,
    protracted and often violent, such as the security workers’ strike which
    saw several workers killed. This sad and unacceptable development, in
    my opinion, is a reflection of the desperation of the strikers.
    Fourthly, we are now seeing repeat uprisings in many areas such as
    Orange Farm, Balfour and others. This seems to point to the intractable
    problems underlying the uprisings and might result in a search for
    radical solutions by the masses and their leaders as they realize that
    barricading the streets and burning the local council office does not
    lead to the desired change. Fifthly, some of the community protests
    have involved attacks on African immigrants and the burning and looting
    of their small businesses. The association between xenophobic attacks
    and the protest action is worrying and requires further research. This
    issue is in a section discussed below. Lastly, there is a need for
    further research into the impact and influence of the protests on
    general South African politics because they have become a permanent
    albeit sporadic fixture in the country’s political landscape. Few
    political players in the country can ignore them and below we look at
    the different perspectives advanced to explain the protests.

    We can identify different takes and perspectives on the protests if we
    consider the question of what is behind the protests. Establishing
    causality requires us to interrogate the protests further in order to
    find explanations for their appearance and development. Three
    approaches to the question of what causes the protests in South Africa
    are presented and critically discussed. This discussion allows us to
    later suggest the implications of the protests for civil society theory
    and for political philosophy.

    From a sociological point of view, the protests present a unique
    subject matter that, if well researched, theorized and understood, can
    yield powerful insights into the operation of South African society and,
    generally, the nature of political processes in the 21st century. Their
    constancy spanning almost a decade since freedom was attained in the
    country. The protests exist sui generis; the protests are a reality,
    they happen almost everyday, they happen in many different parts of the
    country, they have happened in the past and they are likely to happen in
    the future. They cannot be ignored or wished away. This constant
    presence facilitates systematic study. They are a “social fact”.

    There are certain political implications about the protests as fact. I
    want to suggest that it is increasingly dawning on the ANC government
    that it simply has no control over the protests and might not have the
    power to stop them. This was brought home sharply when the protests
    increased rather than decreased when Jacob Zuma, the people’s president,
    took over from the detested Mbeki upon whose head all the ills of the
    country were put. There is no doubt that the protests pose many
    questions and raise many issues that might uncomfortably challenge the
    status quo. It is likely that the protests are increasingly seen by the
    ruling class as a potential threat to the configuration of social forces
    and interests that constitute South African society in the 21st century.

    The literature on the protests is replete with the search for causes:
    what is behind the protests? Analysts require explanations in their
    quest for understanding, practitioners need explanations in order to
    deal with the protests, some to stamp them out and others to egg them
    on. The most affected party is of course the ANC government. Its
    approach to the question has been mainly to acknowledge the existence of
    “service delivery” problems and to attribute these to the weaknesses
    (“lack of capacity”) of local government. The people need water,
    electricity, houses, roads, clinics and schools, but they are not
    getting them, so they get frustrated and protest. The solution: improve
    local government and service delivery.

    It is interesting to note that the script the government is reading from
    when explaining the protests sometimes changes emphasis, contains many
    nuances and often new elements and twists are introduced by different
    government leaders and spokespersons. However, it is possible to detect
    the various thrusts in the government’s argument. A significant theme
    is for the government to blame the protests on a “third force”, that is,
    on unknown people with unknown agendas that seek to “destabilize our
    democracy”.[18] Another is the accusation that certain people, in
    particular ANC local leaders, are agitating the masses in order to
    position themselves for leadership positions in the next local
    government elections in 2011. The latest explanation is the admission
    that blame cannot be put only on local government, provinces are also to
    blame.[19] This is an interesting admission because in some cases the
    ANC senior leadership has responded to the most volatile protests by
    firing mayors and councilors seen as responsible for poor service
    delivery in a particular area. This begs the question of how many
    mayors will and can be fired given the fact that a substantial number of
    local municipalities are dysfunctional in South Africa. A possible way
    out of this has been to add the charge of corruption in addition to
    their being incompetent or not responsive to the needs of
    constituencies. Corruption is a thorny issue in South Africa and many
    protesters complain about this. The hitch is corruption seems
    widespread and permeates all levels and spheres of government; what is
    done about it in local government might set difficult to implement
    precedents for other spheres.

    The ANC needs an intelligible and politically viable explanation for the
    protests but there are many difficulties in this respect. How does the
    ANC, for example, explain the fact that ANC members and supporters are
    increasingly involved in protest action? There have been instances when
    ANC councillors’ houses have been burnt down by protest action organized
    by the local ANC branch leadership.[20] There are many implications of
    this for the ANC as the ruling party. Some old arguments that were used
    to keep things in control may lose their power. Mbeki tried to marshall
    ANC and Alliance forces to close ranks against a common enemy defined as
    those who agitate the masses to protest. But if it is members of the
    ANC and its alliance who are protesting then dismissing them as
    “counter-revolutionaries” and “ultra-leftists” seems unconvincing and
    problematic. A bigger problem is that the ANC can hardly afford to be
    protested against by its own members because this suggests a loss of
    support and might have disastrous electoral implications. The biggest
    problem is that the ANC appears today as a highly factionalised party
    where increasingly members of the respective factions ruthlessly attack
    each other oblivious of the political damage to the ANC as a whole.
    This means that some explanations given by the ANC government for the
    protests require scrutiny.

    How does the media in South Africa explain and project the protests?
    Despite its sensationalist approach to newsworthy items, the mainstream
    press in South Africa is largely in line with the programme and vision
    of the government as both institutions share a neoliberal outlook and
    are in fact part of the bourgeois state.[21] On the question of the
    protests the media tends to follow the government’s line with a few
    peculiar caveats which usually reflect the interests and concerns of its
    owners, big business. The bourgeois media is not exactly in love with
    the ANC even though the latter manages the bourgeois state. The
    capitalists were forced to accept ANC rule because no other party had
    the ability and the authority to lead South Africa from apartheid to
    democracy. The ANC qualified for the job because the masses had chosen
    it to be the party of national liberation and, most importantly, its
    leadership was willing to compromise with capital on the question of a
    new dispensation for South Africa.[22] This involved the ANC agreeing to
    respect the law of profits and binding itself to protecting (stolen)
    private property. The ANC was also the only party that could
    successfully contain mass dissatisfaction with a less than perfect
    political dispensation because of its strong influence over the masses.
    But, the capitalists did not just wake up one day to the realization
    that the ANC could be useful in this way. There were times of mutual
    suspicion and hostility and this chapter in history could not simply be
    wiped clean. For example, at first and for many years big business
    cultivated and encouraged t

    The World Bank and Eskom

    You are kindly invited to join us at a CCS Working Seminar with groundWork and SDCEA


    Topic: Eskom's World Bank Loan and Civil Society Responses"
    Speakers: David Hallowes, Desmond D'Sa, Trevor Ngwane, Patrick Bond and
    Rehana Dada
    Date:M Friday 12 February 2010
    Time: 12.30 – 14.00
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F208, Howard College, UKZN

    According to critics, the World Bank's proposed $3.75 billion loan to
    Eskom will exacerbate financial unaffordability for low-income people,
    worsen South Africa's already prodigious contribution to CO2 emissions
    and climate change, and permit continued subsidised supply of the
    world's cheapest electricty to the largest mining/metals firms, for
    export of profits/dividends to London/Melbourne/Luxembourg/Zurich.
    (Prior World Bank electricity loans to South Africa, during apartheid,
    had much the same effect, and the Jubilee movement has demanded an
    apology and reparations since no black households received electricity
    during the Bank-Eskom relationship from 1951-67, but to no avail.)
    Meanwhile the World Bank is seeking $250 billion in new capital from
    shareholders (including Pretoria), and positioning itself as a funder of
    climate-change mitigation, while also, ironically, expanding what is
    already the world's largest fossil fuel investment portfolio. Dozens of
    progressive groups in civil society in SA, Africa and around the world
    have reacted with anger, with protests at Eskom planned for Tuesday, 16
    February. In advance of Climate Justice Now!-South Africa's KZN chapter
    meeting at CCS on Saturday, 13 February (9am-1pm), the finer details
    behind the loan require consideration. Presenting a major December 2009
    report critical of the Eskom and the World Bank will be groundWork
    researcher David Hallowes, with commentary from Desmond D'Sa from the
    South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and CCS's Trevor Ngwane,
    Patrick Bond and Rehana Dada.

    (For the sake of interested parties across SA and elsewhere, we will
    open this seminar to real-time skypecasting; please contact
    'patricksouthafrica' on skype or email to

    A Dearth of Imagination Leads to Wasting Perfectly Good Waste

    The UKZN Centre for Civil Society welcomes you to a seminar

    Seminar: A Dearth of Imagination Leads to Wasting Perfectly Good Waste
    Speaker: Susan Galleymore, independent writer and Stanford University
    Date/time: 5 February, 2010, from 12:30‑2pm
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F208, Howard College Campus

    Between imperialist militarism in the Middle East and South Asia and the
    daily degradations of life in peri‑urban KwaZulu‑Natal lie stories of
    social resistance and solidarity. Susan Galleymore is author of Long
    Time Passing: Mothers Speak about War and Terror in which she shares the
    first‑hand stories of families in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon,
    Israel,West Bank, Syria, and the U.S. She hosts Stanford University's
    Raising Sand Radio and is currently writing about the connections
    between war, the environment, and the human beings affected.

    Copenhagen Climate and Eskom Energy Conflicts

    You are kindly invited to join us at a Centre for Civil Society Seminar

    Topic: Copenhagen Climate and Eskom Energy Conflicts
    Speakers: Rehana Dada and Patrick Bond
    Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2010
    Time: 12.30 – 14.00
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F208, Howard College, UKZN

    In Copenhagen at the UN climate summit last month, most (although not
    all) of the South African civil society contingent demanded a radically
    different negotating position from Pretoria as well as from other
    rulers, and yet were not surprised at the summit's failure. Still, in
    view of the lack of legitimacy attached to the Copenhagen Accord signed
    by President Zuma, Copenhagen was a useful outcome, especially because a
    grassroots Climate Justice movement solidified. That movement
    increasingly links fossil fuels to energy consumption, asking the
    question especially of the South African government: who really benefits
    from the world's cheapest electricity? The answer is not poor people, as
    hundreds of Durban township residents demonstrated in protests at the
    regulatory hearings on Eskom's proposed price increases. Is there a
    better way to address climate, renewable energy and access to
    electricity than what is on offer from Pretoria and the SA Minerals
    Energy Complex?

    Rehana Dada and Patrick Bond co‑edited the book Climate Change, Carbon
    Trading and Civil Society for UKZN Press (2009), and were in Copenhagen
    with protesters outside the Bella Centre. Dada co‑edited the activists'
    newspaper Climate Chronicle. Both have been involved in energy‑related
    research and advocacy for many years.

    The Saharawi, Warwick Junction and Footsak Politics

    Topic: The Saharawi, Warwick Junction and Footsak Politics
    Speakers: Peter McKenzie and Doung Jahangeer
    Date: Wednesday, 20 January 2010
    Time: 12.30 – 14.00
    Venue: Memorial Tower Building F208, Howard College, UKZN

    The ‘Footsak’ 2010 project is kicking a soccer ball around six countries
    in Africa using soccer as a metaphor for ‘The game of Life’. Who’s
    kicking the ball? Who’s making the rules? Who’s offside? Who needs a red
    card? The ball rolls into situations and the documentaries made offer a
    balls eye view. The itinerant team are Doung Jahangeer from the Durban
    organisation Dala, Guy‑Andre Lagesse from les Pas Perdus in Marseilles,
    France and Peter McKenzie from Twasa in Jo’burg. The team has made some
    short documentaries, two of which will be shown at the CCS. ‘Like Grains
    of Sand’ features the women of the women of the of the refugee Saharawi
    people in the desert of Southern Algeria. They lead the struggle for
    liberation and return to their occupied homeland ‑ Western Sahara. The
    film incorporates classical Arabic poetry, local music and beautiful,
    elegant strugglistas and strives toward ‘another way of telling’. The
    second film ‘See Here’ engages the local issue of the Early Morning
    Market. The film grew out of a series of youtube clips that was made on
    the market. The use of new media gave voice to the struggle providing
    solidarity on a local and global stage. The film, although still with a
    deliberately activist slant, fictionalises it slightly as the
    protagonist ‑ the ball ‑ engages the market ‑ its people and its
    politics in a fantastical way.

    Peter McKenzie was born in Durban. In 1982 he studied towards a Diploma
    in Photography at the Technikon Natal followed by an internship at the
    Sunday Tribune. He was a co‑founder of the photo collective Afrapix
    agency under the auspices of the South African Council of Churches and
    was the chief photographer for Drum Magazine until the late eighties
    before going free‑lance. He was also the co‑ordinator and facilitator of
    the photojournalism department at the Institute for the Advancement of
    Journalism from 1996 to 1999. Mckenzie has published and exhibited both
    locally and internationally.

    Doung Jahangeer is a practicing architect, artist and educator. He has
    become increasingly fascinated with the notion of ‘architecture without
    walls’, investigating the ‘spaces in between’, and was awarded a large
    public commission for a public sculpture at Ellis Park.

     Other seminar programmes
     WISER Seminar Series 
     UKZN History Seminar Series 
     The Wolpe Trust 

    |  Contact Information  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy