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Bond Patrick (2012) State failure, market failure and civil society failure. Eye on Civil Society : -.

After last week’s COP17 autopsy, SA’s environmental justice movement also left fingerprints on the corpse
Patrick Bond 28 February 2012

Critics of power abuse often dwell exclusively on state failure and market failure.

A good example is the way a lead editorialist in the Sunday Times grappled with the next round of crony-capitalist tenderpreneurship two days ago: ‘Did the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, really think that a decision to spend R300 billion over the next 17 years on nuclear power stations did not merit a mention in his budget speech?’

Unearthing that figure, buried deep in the detailed budget document, the editorialist reminded Gordhan of ‘the decade-long fiasco that resulted from greed, fraud, corruption and cover-ups surrounding the R45-billion arms deal.’

Another unpleasant reminder will come when former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s dereliction of duty is again raised by both Zuma’s arms-deal commission (if they do even a half-baked job) and by those reviewing his fitness for a possible run, in coming weeks, at the World Bank presidency. In June the incumbent, Robert Zoellick, will be replaced after serial disasters in both government and finance stretching back a quarter century.

Former Member of Parliament Andrew Feinstein revealed that Manuel knew of bribes solicited by the late Defense Minister Joe Modise. Feinstein testified (without challenge) that in late 2000, Manuel surreptitiously advised him over lunch, ‘It’s possible there was some shit in the deal. But if there was, no one will ever uncover it. They’re not that stupid. Just let it lie.’

Apparently adopting a similar attitude, Gordhan is facilitating not only nuclear madness but also hundreds of billions of rands worth of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants, more coal exports, further water-degradation of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, and roads commercialization (thanks to Gauteng residents’ revolt against e-tolling).

How does this square with our hosting the COP17 climate summit, here in Gordhan’s home town?

Earlier this month, Yale and Colombia university researchers rated South Africa fifth worst ‘environmental performer’ amongst the 132 countries studied; the three categories in which we did worst were forest loss, sulfur dioxide emissions and carbon emissions.

This is mainly thanks to Pretoria finance, energy and mining officials, Johannesburg Eskom bosses, and the Melbourne and London mining and metals houses. They support vast electricity wastage for smelting (resulting in the world’s highest kWh/job rate in this capital-intensive sector), leaving our greenhouse gas emissions from energy twenty times higher than even the USA’s, measured per unit of economic output per person.

Such eco-financial insanity continues because the crony capitalist Minerals-Energy Complex remains intact: tragically, the most powerful force in forging apartheid’s migrant labour system was strengthened not weakened after 1994, even though the mining sector added nothing to the country’s GDP growth during the 2002-08 minerals boom. One reason was corporate capital flight, which in 2007 – at the boom’s peak – reached an awe-inspiring 20 percent of SA GDP, according to Wits University economists.

To that waste and resource outflow must be added banal corruption, such as the Chancellor House (an African National Congress fundraising arm) and Hitachi R40 billion deal for Eskom boilers which will apparently not be delivered on time, hence risking another round of load-shedding. In 2009, Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana found that Eskom chairperson Valli Moosa ‘acted improperly’ because he awarded that price-busting contract in blatant conflict of interest, while he sat on the ANC’s finance committee.

That fact doesn’t bother the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s carbon trading desk, which has just rewarded Moosa with membership on the ‘High-Level Panel on the Clean Development Mechanism Policy Dialogue.’ The panel will, in a September report, almost certainly attempt to justify the privatization of the air in spite of repeated episodes of emissions market fraud and corruption, benefiting only those involved in financial profiteering from greenhouse gas pollution.

For good measure, Moosa also chairs the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature’s South Africa chapter, which promotes the carbon trading gimmick.

Indeed, state and market failure were joined by civil society failure at the COP17. This was on display last week when 100 chastened climate activists gathered in a desultory central Durban hotel to provide each other with an autopsy of the climate summit – specifically, how the climate justice movement failed to demand accountability from the ‘1%’ negotiating elites inside the convention centre who were, to put it scientifically, plotting genocide and ecocide.

The harshest auto-critique was from Professor Ashwin Desai. He attacked the ‘big name spectacle NGOs’ Greenpeace and WWF, which ‘dominated the content and temperature of the march’ of thousands last December 3. ‘Local grassroots organizations were reduced to spectators, and were allowed only the occasional cameo appearance with most often a single line; ‘Amandla!’’

The route to the Convention Centre ‘delivered the Minister of International Relations, and COP17 president Maita Nkoana-Mashabane to the masses gathered below. She used the opportunity to say how important civil society was and promised to study a memorandum. She was gracious and generous. I could see the NGO’s on the truck preening themselves in the glow of this recognition and probably increased funding.’

But Desai would be the first to confess how few Durban communities made the effort to more decisively link climate to other burning concerns, including high electricity prices due to coal-fired powerplant construction, severe storms (one causing at least eight deaths on November 27), and the petro-chemical industry’s regular explosions, such as last October 10’s Engen refinery fire that left 100 kids from Settlers Primary School in Merebank hospitalised.

For Desai, who assisted with mobilizing in Wentworth and Merebank, ‘There's a litmus test. In 2001 there was a huge march here, with some 10 000 people in the streets, a completely different march: militant, scathing of the local ruling class, with swear words on its placards. The Durban Declaration was a visceral indictment of our ruling class as an agent of global capital and its economic policies which were deepening inequality and increasing poverty.’

The result at COP17 left him depressed: ‘Civil society as meticulously controlled spectacle, reducing people to choreographed cheerleaders, acting as an accomplice to power.’

Activists who supported the ‘C17’ committee of civil society had all manner of good (and a few bad) excuses for the weak showing last December, including erratic funders. Some huge NGOs, including WWF and Greenpeace, apparently contributed only staff time and no other resources. These and others, including faith communities at Diakonia and some trade unions, held competing events to the C17’s People’s Space at locations across town, even though they served on the C17 committee.

Though many praised the C17 for hard work, its meager impact at COP17 – reflected best in negotiators’ abject failure to cut emissions – doesn’t auger well for civil society unity in future campaigns to save the climate and economy from the Minerals-Energy Complex and finance ministers.

A sober accounting of the climate summit must also offer an autopsy of civil society counterpower at this juncture, and a diagnosis for reviving the corpse – or for rejecting contradiction-ridden unity of such breadth.

Patrick Bond directs the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, where public seminars will be held tomorrow and next week on mobilizing for socio-environmental and political justice.

Ukwahlukeka Kombuso, ukwahluleka kwezimakethe kanye nokwahluleka kwezakhamizi
Emva kokuhlonzwa kweNgqungquthela kweNgqungquthela Yomhlaba Yesimo Sezulu (COP17) ngesonto eledlule, inhlanganyela yezinhlangano elwela ubulungiswa bezemvelo eNingizimu Afrika nawo ushiye amachashazi kulesisidumbu
NguPatrick Bond Yahunyushwa nguFaith ka-Manzi

Abagxeki bezokuxhashazwa kwamandla ombuso isikhathi esiningi agxila kuphela ekwahlulekeni kombuso kanye nokwahluleka kwezimakethe.

Isibonelo esihle kakhulu indlela umbono ophambili komunye wabahleli kwiphephandaba iSunday Times owawuzama ukuqonda ubungxiwankulu-bobubhululu bamathenda enzinsukwini ezimbili ezedlule: Ngabe Ungqongqoshe Wezezimali, uPravin Gordhan ucabanga ukuthi isinqumo sokuchithwa kwezigidigidi ezingamakhulu amathathu amarandi (R300 billion) eminyakeni engu-17 ezayo ngezizinda zamandla enuclear bekungafenele akhulume ngaso ngenkathi ethula inkulumo yakhe yebhajethi?’

Ukuzuza lesisibalo, esingcwatshwe sajula phansi kumqulu onaba ngenkulumo yebhajethi, kulombono wabahleli ukhumbuze uGordhan ‘iminyaka eyishumi eyayingumphumela wokuhala, ukukhwabanisa, inkohlakalo kanye nokufihlwa okwakumayelana ngesivumelwano sezikhali sikaR45 wezigidigidi (R45 billion)’

Okunye okungeke kunambithiseke kambi kokumkhumbuza kuyoqhamuka koWayenggungqongqoshe Wezezimali ngaphambilini uTrevor Manuel wayenobudedengu kumsebenzi okubuza ikhomishana kaZuma ebhekene nezivumeleano sezikhali (noma benza umsebenzi ongagculisi ngaleyondlela) kanye nalabo abacubungula ukuthi ngabe ufanele yini ukungenela ukhetho, emasontweni azayo, lokuba umongameli weBhange Lomhlaba. Ngenyanga kaJuni kosaphethe, uRobert Zoellick, kuyobe sekungena ezicathulweni zakhe omunye emva kwezehlakalo ezimbalwa zezigigaba kuhulumeni kanye nezezimali kusukela engxenyeni eyikota leminyaka eyikhulu.

Owayeyilunga lasePhalamende uAndrew Feinstein waveza ukuthi uManuel wayazi ngesandla semfene esasifunwa Ngungqongqoshe Wezokuvikela ongasekho emhlabeni uJoe Modise. UFeinstein wafakaza (ngaphandle kokuphikiswa) that usuzophela unyaka ka2000, uManuel ngesinyenyela ngenkathi bedla ukudla kwamadina wambonisa ukuthi, ‘Kungenzeka ukuthi kwabakhona ubuqili kulesisivumelwane. Kodwa uma kwenzeka, akekho oyokwazi ukukwambula lokho. Abazona izilima. Vele uluyeke loludaba.’

Kubonakala sengathi unomgqondo ofanayo, uGordhan oxhumanisa ukuhlanya ngenuclear kodwa nezigidigidi zamarandi zezizinda zamalahle zamandla zaseEskom, ukudayiselwa kwamazwe angaphandle amalahle, ukuqhubekela phambili nokungcolisa-amanzi asezifundazweni zaseLimpopo kanye naseMpumalanga, nokuhweba ngemigwaqo (kodwa sibonga ukubhikisha kwezakhamiza zesifundazwe saseGauteng zimelene nokukhokhiswa ngokusebenzisa imigwaqo engothelawayeka).

Ngabe lokhu singakhuqhathanisa kanjani nokubhekelela ingqungquthela yesimo sezulu iCOP17, lapha edolobheni akhulela kulona uGordhan?

Isaqala lenyanga, abacwaningi basesikhungazweni zemfundo ephakeme iYale neColombi, yabeka Iningizimu Afrika ‘njengezwe lesihlanu emhlabeni wonke elahluleka ukubhekana nezemvelo’ phakathi kwamazwe angu-132 okwakwenziwe lolucwaningo kuwo; izindlela ezintathui esasihluleka ngazo kakhulu ukulahlekelwa ngamahlathi, ukukhishelwa kwezisisi necarbon.

Ngalokhu sibonga kakhulu ezezimali zasePitoli, ezamandla kanye nezikhulu zezimboni zokumbiwa phansi, abaphathi baseGoli bakwaEskom kanye nezimboni zaseMelbourne kanye naseLondoni zokumbiwa phansi kanye nensimbi. Baxhasa ukuxhashazwa kakhulu kwamandla kagesi ukuncibilikisa, okwenza ukukhishelwa kwezisisi zegesi igreenhouse eziqhamuka emandleni kagesi kube ngaphezulu ngamashumi amabili kakhulu ngaphezulu ngisho kwaseMelika.

Lokhukuhlanya ngezezimali-kwezemvelo kuyaqhubeka ngoba ububhululu nongxiwankulu mayelana neMinerals-Energy Complex abunyakaziswa; ngeshwa elikhulu, abanamandla kakhulu isimo sobandlululo mayelana nokufika kabasebenzi abaqhamuka emaphandleni bezosebenza emadolobheni sathola kakhulu amandla sangenziwa buthakathaka emva kuka1994, noma kodwa imboni yezokumbiwa phansi yayingenamthelela kwezomnotho wezwe ngenkathi ukuhweba kulemboni kwenza inzuzo kakhulu phakathi kuka2002no2008. Esinye isizathu esisodwa ukubaleka kwezimali kwezimboni, lapho ngo2007- ngesikhathi benza inzuzo kakhulu- eyayifika kumaphesenti angu20 ezimali ezingelela INingizimu Afrika, ngokusho kwabahlaziyi bezomnotho basesikhungweni semfundo ephakeme eWits.

Kulokhokuxhashaza kanye nokuphumela ngaphandle kwezingqalasizinda kufanele simbandakanye nenkohlakalo enokuhlanya phakathi, njengeChancellor House (umnyango kaKhongolose wezokufuna izimali zokuxhaswa) kanye nesivumelwano sikaR40 wezigidigidi neHitachi ngobhayela bakaEskom okubukeka sengathi ngeke bafike ngesikhathi, lokhu futhi kusibeka engcupheni yokwehliswa kokusetshenziswa kukagesi phecelezi iload sheding. Ngo 2009, Umvikeli Womphakathi uLwarence Mushwana wathola ukuthi usihlalo wakaEskom uValli Moosa ‘waziphatha ngokungafanele’ mgoba wanikezwa inkontileka okwakungavumelani nesikhundla sakhe, ngenkathi futhi eyilunga lekomidi yezimali kaKhongolose.

Leloqiniso lilodwa alizange liyikhathaze ingalo yezokuhweba ngesisisi esingcolisayo (icarbon) yeUN Framework Convention on Climate Change, eyayisanda kunikeza uMossa ubulunga ‘beziaNgxoxo High-Level Panel on the Clean Development Mechanism Policy.’ Leliqoqo liyobe, ngombiko wangoSeptemba, liyocishe lizame ukuzikivela ngokuhwebela ngasese komoya noma kuneziyingi eziningi zokukhwabanisa kanye nenkohlakalo ezimakethe zokungcolisa umoya, okuzuziza kuphela labo abazuza ngezimali ngokungcoliswa komoya yigesi yegreenhouse.

Nakhu futhi okunye, uMoosa futhi ubuye abengusihlalo weWorld Wide Fund (WWF) eNingizimu Afrika Kwezemvelo, egqugquzela ukuluthwa ngokuhweba ngecarbon engcolisayo.

Empeleni, umbuso kanye nokuhluleka kwezimakethe kubandakanye nokuhluleka kwezemiphakathi ngeCOP17. Lokhu kugqame bha ngesonto eledlule lapho (chastened) izishoshovu ezingu-100 zesimo sezulu zihlangene e(desultory) ehotela eThekwini ukuhlonza ingqungquthela yesimo sezulu – ikakhulukazi, ukuthi inhlanganyela yamaqembu alwela ubulungiswa kwisimo sezulu ahluleka ukufuna ukwenza oku(accountability) ku‘1%’ wababusi owawungaphakathi lapho kwakuhlanganyelwe khona lapho uma sesikubeka ngobuchwepheshe bezesayensi, babehlela ukubulala abantu bomhlaba (genocide) kanye nokubulala ezemvelo ecocide).

Ukugxekwa okunamazwi aqinile kakhulu kuqhamuke kuSolwazi uAshwin Desai. Uhlasele ‘Izinhlangano Ezinkulu Ezingaphandle kukahulumeni’ ezithanda ukuzigqamisa kakhulu iGreenpeace kanye WWF, ’ezazikhuluma kakhulu’ ngokuthi yini kanye nokuthi kufanbele ukumasha kwezinkulungwane ngoDisemba 3 ngonyaka odlule kuhambe kanjani. ‘Izinhlangano zabantu abaphansi zavele zenziwa izibukeli, futhi zavunyelwa ngokuvela kancane ngokusho umugqa owodwa-nje; ‘Amandla!’

Indlela eya eConvention Centre ‘yaletha uNgqongqoshe weZokuxhmana Nezangaphandle, kanye nomongameli weCOP17 uMaita Nkoana-Mashabane kwizinkumbi zabantu ababekwimashi. Wasebenzisa lelothuba ukuthi ibaluleke kangakanani imiphakathi futhi wathembisa ukufunda izikhalo zabantu. Wayenomusa futhi enobubele. Nganizibona izinhlangano ezizimele zizimbambatha emhlane ngokwamukelwa futhi okungase kwenyuse ukuxhaswa kwazo ngezimali.’

Kodwa uDesai ungowokuqala ongavuma ukuthi imbalwa kangakanani imiphakathi yaseThekwini eyenza imizamo yokumbandakanya isimo sezulu kwezinye izikhalazo zabantu ezibalulekilewould, okuhlanganisa amanani aphezulu kagesi ngenxa yokwakhiwa kwezizinda zamandla kagesi aphehlwa ngamalahle, izimvula kanye nokuduma okukhulu kwezulu (okunye okudlule nemiphefumulo cishe yabantu abayisishagalombili ngoNovemba 27), kanye nokuqhuma kwemboni yamakhemikhali amafutha okujwayelekile, njengokwenzeka ngoOkthoba wonyaka odlule kwisizinda saseEngen lapho umlilo waholela ekutheni izingane zesikole samabanga aphnsi iSettlers Primary School eMerebank ziye esibhedlela.

KuDesai, owayesiza ngokuhlanganisa abantu eWentworth kanye naseMerebank, ‘Kunokuhlolwa kwelitmus. Ngo2001 kwakunokhukhulelangoqo wemashi lapha, kwakunabantu abangu-10 000 emgaqweni, imashi eyayihluke kakhulu: nezishoshovu ezazivutha bhe, eyafika yanamazwi ahlabayo eqondiswe kubabusi, kanye nezinhlamba kwizingqembe. IDurban Declaration yayiyiqiniso eliqojeme ukuthi ababusi bethu njengabantu abasebenzela ezezimali zomhlaba wonke kanye nemigomo yabo yezomnotho okwakwandisa ukungalingani phakathi kwabantu kanye nekwenyuka kobuhlwempu.’

Umphumela weCOP17 yamshiya edangele: ‘imiphakathi njengomboniso okulukhuni ukuwujabulisa, wenza abantu bafana nabashaya izandla, bezenza obhululu bombuso.’

Izishoshovu ezazixhasa ikomidi ‘leC17’ lemiphakathi bonke babenhloso enhle (nabambalwa abambi) ukuzixolisela ngobuthakathaka obabonakala ngoDisemba wonyaka odlule, okumbandakanya abaxhasi bezimali ababengenakho ukuzinikela. Ezinye izinhlangano ezinkulu ezizimele, ezimbandakanya iWWF kanye neGreenpeace, zazinikezela ngesikhathi sabasebenzi bazo kodwa hayi ezinye izinsiza. Lezizinhlangano, ezihlanganisa nemiphakathi yezinkolo eDiakonia kanye nezinyunyana zabasebenzi, zazinemicimbi eyayiqhudelana Kwisikhala Sabantu (People’s Space) seC17 ezindaweni ezahlukene edolobheni lonkana, kodwa zibe zazisiza kwikomidi leC17.

Noma-ke iningi layitusa iC17 ngokusebenza kanzima, umthelela wakhona omncane ngeCOP17 – wakhombisa ukwahluleka okungenathemba kwabebesizingxoxweni zokwehliswa kwezisisi ezingcolisayo – asizange sibeke isithombe esihle ngobumbano lezemiphakathi kwimikhankaso ezayo ukuhlenga isimo sezulu kanye nomnotho kwiMinerals-Energy Complex kanye nongqongqoshe bezezimali.

Ukubhekana kahle ngokunomqondo ophusile ngengqungquthela yesimo sezulu kufanele kulethe ukuhlonzwa kwemiphakathi ngamandla abaphikisayo kulomzuzu, kanye nokuthi yini engadala ukuvuselela impilo yasidumbu – noma bahlukane nokuzihlanganisa okunobuhixihixi obungaka.

UPatrick Bond ungumqondisi weUKZN Centre for Civil Society,, lapho izingxoxo zemiphakathi zizobe zenziwa kusasa kanye nangesonto elizayo ukuzihlanganisa mayelana mayelana nobulungiswa bezombusazwe bezemvelo kanye nezenhlalakahle.

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