10 May 2017

South Africa: Rural Patronage, Dehumanisation and the Traditional Khoi-San Leadership Bill

opinion

As the government continues to march forward with the Traditional Khoi-San Leadership Bill, we must consider the nature of power it wishes to further instill. In my last piece I wrote about the nexus between corrupt traditional leadership, the tourism industry and rural dispossession. Here, the moral and historical thread lacing the Traditional Khoi-San Leadership Bill will be examined.

Presently the government continues its efforts to pass the Traditional Khoi-San Leadership Bill, a piece of legislation riddled with continuities from apartheid and further tainted by (among other issues) an inadequate consultation process. Perhaps we should consider how the communities directly affected are conceived of as well as the institutions involved.

Recently I wrote about the destruction of rural livelihoods and homes in an attempt to dispossess and remove rural persons. Traditional leadership was complicit in the burning of the homes of two men on land which they administered. Meanwhile the local tourism industry expanded. In that case, as in many others, capital framed indigenous rural people simply as problems or obstructions to industrial or commercial development. This led to steps being taken to try to remove these communities from the land. This is not a new phenomenon.

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South Africa

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