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China Ngubane and Patrick Bond at UKZN Geography workshop on community politics, 24 October

Occupying Umlazi: Hesitant steps towards political ideology in a Durban township
China Ngubane

Umlazi is considered the second most populated African township in South Africa, after Soweto. Located in southwestern Durban, Umlazi has long been a site of community movements, especially during apartheid. Umlazi’s Ward 88 was a site of political revival in 2012, a time when ideas unified people and motivated them to pursue a common goal. The name of those ideas was ‘Occupy,’ following a film screening of the 2011 Occupy movement. There are a variety of lessons from assessing several weeks of protest marred by state violence, followed by a Ward Committee election won by the Occupy movement, followed by uneven access to development resources. The ebb and flow of ideology is one such lesson: it is a necessary part of moving from local to global, to address both deep problems and the politicians who sustain them.

A township movement prepares to 'Occupy': Umlazi’s unrest won’t be solved by intimidation

China Ngubane 2 July 2012

It is a time when local police brutality is a national scandal, with more than 50 extra-judicial executions (including many innocent bystanders) traced to a hit squad operating from the Cato Manor station. It is also a time when service delivery protests forced South African President Jacob Zuma to proclaim the need for ‘radical’ changes at last week’s African National Congress policy conference so as to redress blatant economic injustice – though this appears to be merely career-lengthening rhetoric.

IDRC Progress Workshop Programme

Workshop commences: 9am

*Please note that each presenter will have a maximum of 15 minutes to present their respective papers, with an additional 10 minutes for questions and comments.

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