Who we work with

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. At present it works with people in the following groups, clustered around the following areas of work:

Land Rights Activists

CLP connects with land rights activists from the rural areas of KwaZulu/ Natal. These activists are from Bosworth Farm in Newcastle, farm-dwellers from Botha’s Pass in Utrecht and the Roosboom United Church Council from Ladysmith. There are approximately 245 people within those groups. They regularly gather to engage about strategies of accessing services and land and resistance against violations of their rights. These activists struggle for access to land and are resisting their removal from their land and associated livelihoods.

Environmental Justice Activists

CLP connects with environmental justice activists from Sisonke Environmental Justice group in Newcastle, Sukumani Environmental Justice group in Dannhauser and Sizanayo Community Development from the KwaMdakane Village in Dannhauser. There are approximately 350 activists altogether from those groups and the age group is between 16 – 75 years old. These activists struggle for access to land and are resisting their removal from their land and associated livelihoods. These threats of removal are as a result of the activities of powerful and resourced institutions acting in their territories e.g. mining companies and traditional leaders.

Shack Dwellers

In Durban and Pietermaritzburg, CLP connects with formations of the urban poor, particularly shack-dwellers’ movements. These movements continue to resist evictions from their settlements, and sustains their struggle for land, housing and dignity. CLP works with approximately 1 000 activists from 20 settlements. The age group of the shack-dwellers vary from 16 – 70 years old. According to the eThekwini Municipality, there are 569 informal settlements in the city, which comprise of about 250,000 households and are home to more than a quarter of the total population (www.urbanagendaplatform.org)

Women in Livelihoods and Mutual Support Groups

CLP works with organized groups of women facing the harsh consequences of patriarchy and other forms of abuse. These groups were formed to provide mutual support for themselves as women, and their own livelihood initiatives have enabled them to retain their sense of empowerment and to challenge gender inequities within their communities. Groups are from rural villages in northern Zululand, e.g. Xoshindlala and Thandanani; other groups are from the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Sodlangobumbano.

CLP connects with groups that are established to produce food together, promoting agro-ecological approaches in response to the destructive impacts of commercial agriculture, neoliberal markets, and the challenges of climate change. These groups include Sekwanele, a women’s group in Bhonkolo, north of KwaZulu-Natal, currently producing from 26 communal gardens. There are approximately 141 women altogether within these groups and the age group is between 29 – 80 years old.

Why these groups?

CLP takes engaging with activists seriously. We bring in our ‘principles of good stuff’ to assist us when selecting groups to engage with. The principles are: