The Land Occupation as a Tactic: Community Organisation and Contentious Politics in the Marikana Informal Settlement, Cape Town

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 5 May, 2015 -
12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Rayner Teo
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

What makes a successful land occupation? Marikana informal settlement is the largest new land occupation in Cape Town since Siqalo (2012), and it is probably there to stay. In this ongoing research, I document the emergence of community organising in Marikana, as well as the political opportunities that have facilitated the land occupation—particularly the role of the newly-formed Ses'khona People's Rights Movement. Guided by perspectives from social movement theory, I conceptualise land occupation as a tactic within the repertoire of contentious politics in South Africa. I then build a case for considering the poor in South Africa as a social movement that employs a large and varied repertoire of contention, including the land occupation

Rayner is a research master's student in the Sociology department. He is studying collective action, contentious politics, and social movement organisations in South Africa. His dissertation work focuses on the Marikana land occupation in Cape Town. His work is funded by the Fox Fellowship from Yale University, and the CSSR.