Over 60 grassroots activists gathered in Cape Town on February 8 for a two hour information session about the campaign against Trans-National Corporations (TNC). The event was organised by the Southern Africa Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, a regional chapter of the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Stop Impunity and Reclaim Peoples’ Sovereignty.
During the session, two women from the Somkhele community in Kwazulu-Natal spoke about their struggle against Ibutho Coal, who has started mining operations on the outskirts of the Hluhluwe-iMofolozi Park nature reserve.
Farai Maguwu from the Centre for Natural Resource Governance in Zimbabwe, and who is also a community member from the Marange region, told her story about their struggle against diamond mining companies who regularly threaten their lives.
The personal inputs were invaluable as many of those in attendance had never heard stories like these outside media or documentary films, and from the people actually forming part of the resistance movements. There was great excitement in the room, many questions, and deep discussion about a way forward.
The session gave activists an opportunity to provide input on issues that the Campaign should be emphasizing, or shed light on issues that the Campaign had not considered as something to include.
It was clear from the evening’s interactions and discussions that this Campaign was sorely needed in South Africa.
The Campaign has two exciting events coming up – there will be a workshop on the Architecture of Impunity. This is about the entire system by which TNC’s are able to exploit and extort people, mostly the poor, of Southern Africa.
There will also be a second Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal along with much engagement and support for the communities and activists, the number of which is fast growing, who are part of the Campaign.
The Tribunal in 2016 was just the beginning – the Campaign will use the momentum that came out of the Tribunal to work more closely with those who are involved and fighting the corrupt, capitalist and neo-liberal system that enables TNC’s to steal, murder and destroy!
The Southern African Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, Stop Impunity and Reclaim Peoples’ Sovereignty (TNC Campaign), brings together movements, networks, civil society organisation and communities to articulate a joint struggle against human and environmental rights violated on a daily basis by TNC’s, and the architecture of corporate impunity in which they operate and corporate capture of our democratic structures. The Campaign aims to reclaim peoples’ sovereignty from the hands of greedy, corrupt corporations and individuals, through joint struggles and solidarity, to set the stage for a fairer, just and sustainable development of our region.
Following our aim to socialize updated information and insights from struggles on the ground, our intention is to publish bi-monthly. Please note that while we are building our own People’s Dialogue website, we will publish our articles on the Rural Women’s Assembly blog.