Co-Operatives in South Africa: Advancing Solidarity Economy Pathways from Below

UKZN Press
296 pages - 230mm x 150mm
Paperback / softback (9781869144234)
Digital download (9781869144241)

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.

Part 1 State Co-operative Development Policy and Its Critics
Chapter 1 An Analysis of the Legislative and Policy Trajectory on Co-operative Development in South Africa
Chapter 2 Co-operative Banking in South Africa
Chapter 3 The Employer of Last Resort: A Potential Pathway for Co-operative Development?
Chapter 4 Co-operatives and the Limits of Legal Reform
Chapter 5 With, against and beyond the State: A Solidarity Economy through a Movement of Movements
Part 2 Advancing Solidarity Economy Pathways from Below
Chapter 6 From National Liberation Struggle to Fingerprint Worker Co-operative
Chapter 7 More Ethical Than Ethical: Ethical Food Co-operative’s Conversion to a Worker Co-operative
Chapter 8 Locking in Commercial Farming: Challenges for Food Sovereignty and the Solidarity Economy
Chapter 9 Transition Township: Kwazakhele and the Co-operative Space