Centre for Civil Society Seminar: Commoning as an antidote to uneven development in Southern Africa
(a report-back on a Maputo workshop)
Speakers: Molaudi Sekake, Christelle Terreblanche and China Ngubane
Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College
At a Maputo conference (supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) last week – https://ccs.ukzn.ac.za/default.asp?11,65,3,3059 – four CCS staff and students joined Friends of the Earth International and the TransNational Institute to explore alternatives to neoliberal capitalism. We shared a critique of injustices increasingly inflicted upon peoples and the planet by a dangerously deregulated world economic system, leading to extreme uneven development. Southern Africa is possibly the most severely affected region of the world, showing the highest Gini Coefficient of inequality and the highest levels of uncompensated depletion of natural resources. One antidote under increasing consideration is known as ‘The Commons’, referring to collective strategies that can cross the society-nature divide. The objective is agreed. Our economies and societies must be reinvented, based on justice principles at all levels: environmental, social, economic, gender, intergenerational, among living beings, etc. Experiences of new economies are regionally or locally-grounded in each people’s culture. They are unique experiences, but in their diversity they can bring lessons and light to movements all over the world. While recovering traditional knowledge, they are also born from the historical struggles that united a diversity of actors in resistance to the structural and institutional violence of the systems they faced.
Molaudi Sekake is a UKZN student, CCS Brutus Scholar and a founder of the Society of the Commons; China Ngubane directs the CCS Brutus Scholars programme; and Christelle Terreblanche is a CCS masters/research student, a journalist, and former staffperson for the Million Climate Jobs campaign.