The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar BRICS Crumble, Commodities Crash and Africa’s Climate Changes by  Patrick Bond and Toendepi Shonhe.

Date: Friday 20 November 2015
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal

The world commodity price crash that began in 2011 gathered pace in 2014-15 and with it, has left massive mining houses in financial chaos and commodity-dependent emerging markets in recession. China’s demand for raw materials has plunged, and its U-turn into export of its glutted steel output is destroying South Africa’s industry. The majority of the BRICS countries are suffering economically, and “Africa Rising” is now last-decade hype. Seen from above – e.g. the BRICS’ futile appeal to the G20 to reflate the world economy last weekend, and the GoldmanSachs closure of the BRIC investment fund last week after 85% losses – this represents the demise of hopes to forge an ‘alternative’ to global economic injustice, especially in relation to African development finance. Seen from below – e.g. a local tobacco market in central Zimbabwe which had shifted production from large-scale white plantations connected to British wholesalers and the auction floors, to small-scale land redistribution beneficiaries newly reliant upon Chinese tobacco buyers – the disaster is just as obvious. From both above and below, climate change is exacerbating these crises. If the BRICS self-evidently are not replacing – but instead amplifying – global capitalist uneven development, what are peasants and others seeking a transformed world to do?

Patrick Bond is CCS director and co-editor of BRICS: An anti-capitalist critique (Jacana, 2015); Toendepi Shonhe is a CCS PhD student surveying the post-2000 social, political and accumulation processes in Wedza, Zimbabwe.

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