The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar Campaigning against Coal in KZN by Melissa Hansen, Gcina Makoba and Faith ka-Manzi.

Date: Wednesday 18 February 2015
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College

The women of the northern KwaZulu-Natal villages of Fuleni have begun campaigning against both an existing coal mine (Somkhele, SA’s largest anthracite seam, run by Johannesburg-based Petman) near the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park border, and a vast prospecting claim by Ibutho Coal (a shadowy firm made up of six directors with links to BHP Billiton and Glencore-Xstrata). The Fuleni area is in chaos as a result of lucrative coal finds, socially irresponsible corporate mining and traditional patriarchal land ownership and malgovernance. These companies are supplying both Eskom’s coal-fired power generators, which do enormous climate damage while providing BHP Billiton highly subsidised power, and the Chinese, Indian and European export markets through Richards Bay. Those who use the coal in South Africa and abroad are incurring a climate debt – but how should they pay it off? A class analysis of who wins and loses from northern KZN coal mining must also include the peasant women now witnessing the effects of pollution and health hazards, damage to livestock (and park animals), and drought, with the prospect of massive land grabs on the immediate horizon. What is their strategy and who are their allies? 

Melissa Hansen is a post-doctoral scholar and Gcina Makoba and Faith ka-Manzi are activists based at CCS. They visited northern KwaZulu-Natal last month to investigate conditions and civil society organising.

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