ACCORD is to host a number of events to celebrate the launch of a study on coexistence titled Views and Visions of Coexistence in South Africa. The publication is the result of a study undertaken in partnership with the New York-based Coexistence Initiative (TCI) in 2003 and again in 2008. Currently two local events are scheduled:
- Friday 27 March from 11am – 2pm in Muden (KwaZulu Natal) and
- Tuesday 31 March from 11am – 2pm in Stutterheim (Eastern Cape).
A third local event will take place after the April elections in Mpumalanga. A national launch will take place later in the year.
The purpose of the study was to learn from groups of people in communities who had managed to resolve violent conflict and had begun to experience peaceful coexistence. The three communities – Muden, Stutterheim and Mpumalanga – had all undergone different types of conflicts, and managed to generate locally-based initiatives to coexist. In Muden and Stutterheim, conflicts were between the black and white communities in each town, and in Mpumalanga between ANC and IFP factions.
The primary aim of the local launches is to recognise the involvement and sharing of each community’s story and to provide the community with an opportunity to discuss the findings of the study and the challenges they have faced since.
Further information and contacts:
- Salomé van Jaarsveld, Knowledge Production Officer, ACCORD.
A series of community consultations in three South African communities – Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape and Muden and Mpumalanga in KwaZulu Natal – were conducted to document how each community managed to transit from violent conflict to cooperative post-conflict coexistence before the country’s transition to democracy in 1994. This publication gives an account of these community consultations, in which people from the community groups were invited to share their remarkable stories. The publication shares the communities’ perspectives, understandings and local articulations of coexistence, and provides valuable lessons and insightful findings on the pivotal breakthroughs that enabled them to move from conflict to coexistence: accepting, trusting and respecting each other, granting each other freedom of association and expression, and actually doing things together.