At the local level, CLP’s work with groups of poor people is focused within KwaZulu-Natal, but it seeks also to support them in connecting to broader movements nationally and internationally. CLP aims to support movement building and it retains the flexibility to respond to the emergence of new movements. At present it works with people in the following formations and locations:
- Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is an autonomous movement of shack dwellers connecting some 23 settlements in eThekwini (greater Durban) and 4 in Cape Town. Despite an attack on its original home in Kennedy Road in 2009, the movement is growing with new settlements joining and it is also reestablishing itself in Kennedy Road. It has powerfully insisted on the right of shack dwellers to ‘speak for ourselves’ and has established democratic practices based on regular meetings open to all.
- The Rural Network (RN) is active in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and connects various local struggles against violations of their rights, including illegal evictions, assault and murder, as well as a systematic bias against the poor in the workings of the criminal justice system and other state organs. The opening of dialogue between RN and AbM has created a basis for active solidarity.
- The Nkuthu women’s groups were formed to provide mutual aid for women facing the harsh consequences of patriarchy in northern KZN. They have retained a sense of empowerment through their own livelihood initiatives and some groups also provide meals for orphans and other vulnerable people and on an entirely voluntary basis. The Nkuthu women now network with women from Roosboom, Nkunzi and St Joseph to challenge gender inequities within their communities. These groups are all involved in agricultural and/or craft livelihood projects.
- CLP continues to work with people using and living on church land or who have acquired church land through the land reform process. These locations include St Joseph’s and Coniston where farming and other livelihoods projects have improved people’s well-being although conflict stemming from the state land reform process still inhibits progress.
- AbM and RN, together with the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) in Gauteng and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign (WCAEC), formed the Poor People’s Alliance in 2009. The Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) and Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) have subsequently asked to join. This confirms the potential of the alliance but its future is not clear at present.