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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499


LANDMAN, Christina. Youth on the margins as agents of change? The call for the opening of mines in Dullstroom-Emnotweni based on the Freedom Charter (1955). Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2015, vol.41, n.1, pp.156-168. ISSN 2412-4265.

This article is both a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter (1955) and its problematisation as a sustainable document of liberation. The background to the article is the call by the Unemployed People's Organisation Committee (UPOC) in Dullstroom-Emnotweni to open (coal)mines in the vicinity to provide jobs for the unemployed. The call is supported by a reference in the (unpublished) documentation of UPOC to the Freedom Charter which states that the minerals of the country belong to all its people. The main focus of the article is an interview with Vusi Derrick Mnisi, the secretary of UPOC, who publicly drives the initiative to open (coal)mines around Dullstroom-Emnotweni and deals with the public outcry against the opening of (coal)mines on the grounds of the preservation of the environment, wildlife, tourism and retirement. This interview is juxtaposed by an interview with Dumisane Methula who, in support of Pan-Africanism, rejects the Freedom Charter as being too accommodating of whites in Africa. The interpretation of the interviews is done within the 'four turns' that characterise Narrative Inquiry and distinguish it from other, especially positivistic, forms of research.

Keywords : Freedom Charter (1955); Dullstroom-Emnotweni; environment; Unemployed People's Organisation; Narrative Inquiry.

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