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Co-operatives in South Africa

Advancing Solidarity Economy Pathways from Below

Vishwas Satgar (editor)

ISBN: 9781869144234

Publication Date: Apr 2019

Format: Paperback

This volume builds on a previous collection, The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice (2014), and inaugurates a debate between leading government co-operative development practitioners and its critics, many of whom are working to advance bottom-up solidarity economy pathways.
£23.95

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Co-operatives in post-apartheid South Africa have featured in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, legislation, vertical and horizontal state policy and various discourses from Black Economic Empowerment, ‘two economies' and ‘radical economic transformation'. In practice, the big push by government through quantitative growth, seed capital and top-down movement building has not yielded viable, member-driven and values-centred co-operatives leading systemic change.

Government looks to the experience of Afrikaner nationalism for keys to success, while some co-operative development programmes are breaking new ground in co-operative banking and community public works programmes. Yet, government co-operative pathways are facing serious limits. At the same time, solidarity economy practitioners have been fostering pathways from below, both actual and potential, within various co-operative experiences.

Solidarity economy practice is not seeking government validation nor demanding recognition through adoption. Instead, solidarity economy forces are seeking to work with, against and beyond the state to build institutionalised and decolonised solidarity relations in a society increasingly grounded in market values of individualism, competition and greed.

This volume builds on a previous collection, The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice (2014), and inaugurates a debate between leading government co-operative development practitioners and its critics, many of whom are working to advance bottom-up solidarity economy pathways.
Pages 320
Dimensions 230 x 150
Date Published 30 Apr 2019
Publisher University of KwaZulu-Natal Press
Subject/s Economic systems & structures   Liberalism & centre democratic ideologies  
Vishwas Satgar is an associate professor of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the principal investigator for the Emancipatory Futures Studies project at Wits, editor of the Democratic Marxism book series and chairs the board of the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC). He recently edited The Climate Crisis: South African and Global Democratic Eco-Socialist Alternatives (2018).

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