The seminar was entitled ANC: From Liberation Movement to Ruling Party. The title of Tshepo's presentation was 'Revolt of the poor' and search for a Post-Apartheid South Africa.
Tshepo highights that Khulumani Support Group was amongst the first of the country's post-apartheid social movements and that it has had to contend with a very challenging social and economic landscape that has seen growing retrenchments, deepening poverty and growing difficulty in citizens being able to pay for services that results in water and electricity cut-offs and housing evictions.
The context is compounded, he explains, by a phenomenon of increasing precarity amongst the majority of citizens with growing social discord and seemingly spontaneous, largely un-organised social protests with increasing associated violence.
These conditions can contribute to rendering vulnerable people highly susceptible to being repetitively mobilised for protest actions which may not have been of their own design. It is critical that people in their struggles for dignity are planning their own actions in their 'struggle to make (the world) new'. (Sub-Commandante Marcos, Zapatista Army of National Liberation)
As Tshepo points out the central unresolved issues remain those of the lack of access to land, continuing racial inequality and social injustice. These focuses inform much of the work of Khulumani that has deepened and strengthened its commitment to constructing pathways to an alternative future through drawing on the vast repository of lived experiences of resilience in the face of repression amongst its membership.
Khulumani invites all its social partners to join it in making this path by walking. The distrust that prevails that those of the margins of society cannot be trusted, needs to be overcome. There can be no progress without a genuine participatory politics with partners committed to relationships of solidarity and reciprocity. One insight is that there is so much to learn from a Khulumani. The question could be posed: What do the have-not have that the haves have not?
Sociologist John Hollway who is presently visiting South Africa explains that struggle begins from ordinary women and men and their ordinary acts of refusal to accept the logic of oppression. This can take the form of day-to-day ways of living that challenge the logic of oppression through actions based on equality, mutual care and respect.
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