Centre for Civil Society Seminar: Mapping Cato Manor sewage, animals and protest; and an Umlazi update


Speakers: Thandokuhle Manzi and China Ngubane
Date: Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 601, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College

Topic: What social reaction can government and NGOs expect in a township suffering from long-standing environmental pollution caused by a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals incinerator? The biogas digester proposed by progressive environmentalists was opposed by community activists who believed they had been victimised by guinea-pig development and did not want a ‘shit fish tank’ in their vicinity. Their toyi-toyis in 2009-2010 shut down the project, which is still lying dormant next to the SPCA site. What kinds of political visions and agencies would be required to revitalise the project, which by all accounts is one of the ideal ways to combine flush-toilet sanitation (and dignity plus gender equity/safety) with cutting-edge ecological principles? How does this conflict relate to the search for more coherent politics underway in sites like Umlazi, whose ‘Occupy’ efforts in 2012 generated strategies that transcended defensive protests?

Speakers: Thando Manzi is a third-year UKZN Environmental Management student who participated in protests against the SPCA incinerator and biogas digester. He is a participant in the Durban Antipode studies of the geography of social resistances. China Ngubane coordinates CCS Dennis Brutus Community Scholars and is affililated with several social justice movements in the region.

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