We Are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post-Apartheid South Africa / Edition 1

We Are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post-Apartheid South Africa / Edition 1

by Ashwin Desai
Pub. Date:
Monthly Review Press
Select a Purchase Option (New Edition)
  • purchase options
  • purchase options
    $10.55 $19.00 Save 44% Current price is $10.55, Original price is $19. You Save 44%.
    Note: Access code and/or supplemental material are not guaranteed to be included with textbook rental or used textbook.


We Are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post-Apartheid South Africa / Edition 1

"One is transported from barricade to courtroom to communal cooking-pot to dance-floor. You get to see the struggle from the inside out ... All I know who have read it, feel in fighting form after putting it down."

—Natal Mercury

"An exceptionally vivid and precise account of daily experiences in the new class apartheid ... Desai's book tells the story of how desperation and powerlessness have turned into organized opposition and an articulate, sophisticated language of resistance."

—Mail & Guardian

When Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994, freedom-loving people around the world hailed a victory over racial domination, injustice and inequality. The end of apartheid did not change the basic conditions of life for the majority of oppressed South Africans, however. Material inequality has deepened and new forms of resistance have emerged in commnities that have discovered a common oppression and solidarty and forged new and dynamic political identities.

Desai's book follows the growth of the most unexpected of these community movements, describing from the inside the process through which the downtrodden regain their dignity and defend the most basic conditions of life. His book begins with one specific community, with local government enforcing cut-offs of water and electricity, and evicting families from their houses whose breadwinners have lost their jobs. As the Chatsworth community begins to organize and discover leaders among its ranks, so their example spreads to other communities in Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal region, and their struggles build links with those in other parts of the new South Africa.

We Are the Poors was amajor event in the life of the South African Left when the first edition was published there in 2000. This new edition follows the ongoing course of events to the present.

Author Biography: Ashwin Desai teaches at the Workers' College in Durban, South Africa, and is a newspaper columnist. He is the author of Arise Ye Coolies and South Africa: Still Revolting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901583670506
Publisher: Monthly Review Press
Publication date: 04/01/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)

Table of Contents

1Fatima Meer Comes to Chatsworth15
2Harinarian "Moses" Judhoo in the Promised Land20
3How Are These People Even Able to Exist?24
4A Social Time Bomb Starts Ticking30
5The Struggle and Its Fruits: From the Militant Eighties to the End of Apartheid35
6"We Are the Poors"41
7Upgrading the Houses and the Return of Relocation46
8Is It Legal to Be Poor?: Evictions and Resistance50
9Faces in the Crowd56
10Working Life: From Rags to Tatters64
11Thulisile Manqele's Water67
12A Revolt Grows in Isipingo77
13Mpumalanga's New War82
14Fighting Neoliberalism in Soweto and Tafelsig91
15Labor and Community: The Volkswagen and Engen Strikes100
16Chatsworth Reignites116
17Global and Local: The World Conference Against Racism and the Durban Social Forum120
18Building a New Movement?140
AppendixDurban Social Forum Declaration150

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews