[DEBATE] : US community organising
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Dec 28 09:42:22 GMT 2008
Dominic Tweedie wrote:
> ... the UDF was handed lock stock and barrel to SANCO which
> then let it all wither and die, in about 1992. That is actually how
> the UDF was killed off. Terror Lekota may well have played a crucial
> role in that manoevre.
I don't remember that. Before March 1992 the 'civics' were atomistic and
organised at best in metro and occasionally regional networks. Yes they
were pulled together as Sanco in 1992 but there was *no way* this could
be blamed for killing the UDF, which had much stronger NGO, church and
labour cadres, than urban civics. I don't recall Lekota having *any*
connection to Sanco - and from 1992-94 I worked on a nearly daily basis
with Moss Mayekiso in the Sanco head office so can recall fairly well
(not 100% sure) the milieu.
The UDF was killed long before Sanco was born.
> Nelson Mandela, as President, did not look kindly upon SANCO and
> berated them, because they were in his eyes a stumbling-block in the
> way of his personal project to revive "traditional leadership".
My recollection is not that Sanco had an anti-traditional standpoint.
Instead, the most important single moment was July 1992 when Mandela
came back from the Barcelona Olympics and was given a speech (written by
Neil Morrison) to read by Trevor Manuel. The speech said that Sanco's
threat of a national bond boycott against banks was condemned by Mandela
in that speech as a 'nuclear weapon'. Mayekiso immediately replied,
saying Mandela didn't know what was going on in the townships and should
be quiet on such matters. Still, by December 1993, in exchange for a
Sanco endorsement of the ANC, Mandela authorised that Mayekiso (and his
typist) get a seat on the RDP drafting committee.
> SANCO went from lame to lamer.
I'd agree, but only really after early 1994, when corporatism set in as
the primary modus operandi.
> TM revived it, in name at least, as an extra alliance member and potential deadlocking vote against the SACP and
> COSATU within the alliance. It never worked out that way.
In 1996 Sanco was bailed out of massive (R1 mn+) debts by the ANC. That
won the residual leadership's hearts/minds. Mzwanele Mayekiso's New
Nation columns in the late 1990s tells the awful tale.
> ...In the USA, Obama moved in a straight line from doing commmunity work,
> to being the US President.
My impression is that he moved in a straight line from the Harvard Law
Review to US president, with deviations into Chicago foundations and
slums to build a political base.
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