Last week most of us sat very uncomfortably on our very comfortable couches watching footage of a planned insurrection and footage of the eruption of the long-brewing suffering of many citizens of our country.
As the editors of Ukuzibuza, we think that the most useful contribution that our publication can make to the (re?)building of a country that is equal, inclusive and just, is by curating and sharing information and commentary about the causes, nature and effects of the unrest as well as what’s next. We must each work to understand the forces underlying this moment of rupture and question our own positions in relation to these forces in order to take action for systemic changes. The moment may seem like it has passed; it has not. This is the time to educate ourselves and begin to mobilise.
(If you you'd like to decide what to read based on how much time you have, click here to scroll to the bottom for our suggestions. If you're willing to put an hour aside to learn and think about the events of the past week and how we move forward, we encourage you to read all of the pieces.)
Two pieces written by Jodi Allemeier, an urban strategist, the first of which are her early reflections on the unrest, and the second of which is her vision for what comes next. These articles provide honest insight into the causes of this violence and the roles that each of us plays as citizens. Allemeier offers a number of very specific systemic changes needed to “build a capable state, disperse power, heal social trauma and generate economic wellbeing.”
A Moment of Rupture [13 July 2021]
New Frame tells us that this ‘moment of rupture’ places the poor under the spotlight of the government of the middle and upper classes. Until now they’ve been kept in the shadows.
The article lays out the socio-political factors and the history, particularly of KZN, at play. It calls for the construction of a democracy for all in the wake of not just a week, but years of tragedy.
As of Thursday 22 June, the unrest has claimed the lives of 337 people.
This Washington Post piece centers around the story of a fourteen year-old-boy, Vusi Dlamini, who was shot in the chaos of a riot and died. The author also shares the stories of two Alexandra residents, Lillian Dassie and Laxmidas Vallabhbhai. Dassie’s preschool and Vallabhbhai’s dentistry practice were looted and decimated. The article offers some analysis of the causes of the unrest, but mainly allows us to hear the accounts of people most affected by it.
Civil Society Calls for SRD and BIG Grants [14 July 2021]
Social Relief of Distress (SRD) and Basic Income Grants (BIG): The Daily Maverick publishes a suggested remedy for extreme poverty. This article offers a convincing moral argument for the grants, presenting them as the key element in the relief of hunger, psychological stress of impoverished citizens and gender based violence. The author also suggests how these grants could be funded.
Under Investigation: Twelve Masterminds [14 July 2021]
Ferial Haffajee alleges twelve masterminds who planned this destabilisation and insurrection attempt in response to the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma. Haffajee does not name the twelve people but says that the list comes from “senior ANC and intelligence sources”. There are screenshots of Whatsapp and Telegram messages which reportedly come from groups planning the insurrection. The piece also discusses the sinister potentials of social media.
Insurance Might Cover Looting, but Consumers Will Pay [2 June 2020, United States]
Published in the LA Times, this is a frank economic analysis of the effects of looting, explaining that ultimately it results in price increases which customers will carry. This piece was written in relation to looting during the Black Lives Matter protests in the US in 2020, and its tone is insensitive to the reasons people loot. Nevertheless, it provides useful insight and shows the importance of order and the rule of law.
If you have 5-10 mins:
If you have 15-20 mins:
A Moment of Rupture
If you have 30-45 mins:
Unrest Leaves More Than 200 Dead and Communities Gutted By Looting and ArsonA Moment of Rupture
If you can put aside an hour:
Read all of them (click here to scroll to top)