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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versão On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versão impressa ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.41 no.1 Pretoria  2015 



Youth on the margins as agents of change? The call for the opening of mines in Dullstroom-Emnotweni based on the Freedom Charter (1955)



Christina Landman

Research Institute for THeology and Religion University of South Africa




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 The call is supported by a reference in the (unpublished) documentation of UPOC to the Freedom Charter which states that the minerals of the country belong to all its people.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




The aim of this article is threefold. In the first place, the article aims at telling the story of the young people of Dullstroom-Emnotweni1 who formed the Unemployed People's Organisation Committee (UPOC). The focus will be on their call to open (coal)mines in eMakhazeni2 in the Mphumalanga Province in northeastern South Africa. In this way they want to create jobs and thus become agents of change in a severely impoverished area. Secondly, the article wants to emphasise the role played by the Freedom Charter in the thinking of UPOC on the opening of (coal)mines, thus celebrating 60 years of the existence of the Freedom Charter that was formulated and accepted by a Congress of the People in Kliptown outside Soweto (Johannesburg) in 1955. The third aim of the article is to illustrate the differences between Narrative Inquiry and other ways of research in the process of executing and interpreting the story of UPOC and the Freedom Charter of 1955.


Narrative Inquiry

In an essay 'Locating Narrative Inquiry historically: Thematics in the turn to Narrative', Stefinee Pinnegar and Gary Daynes (in Clandinin 2007, 3-34) describe the four ways in which Narrative Inquiry has been turning away from other, in particular positivistic, methods of doing research. Firstly, in Narrative Inquiry the relationship between the researcher and the 'researched' is that of co-researchers. They are not objectively related, with the researcher looking for facts that can be verified. The position of the co-researchers vis-á-vis one another is relational, with them sharing their stories. They acknowledge that, as human beings, not one of the parties are static, and that they both are contextual with various degrees of individuality that are at stake in the research process. Respect for the narrative identity of each party - that combines individual experience and the socially constructed story in the interviewee's struggle to find equilibrium between autonomy and belonging (Knibb 2013, 27) - is presupposed.

Secondly, Narrative Inquiry regards stories and words as data. Narrative Inquiry moves from the limited representations of numbers to the rich field of experiences presented in stories (Pinnegar and Daynes 2007, 20-21) and body language (West 2013, 1). Also, Narrative Inquiry accommodates authoethnography, and regards the 'researcher' telling the story of the self and resonating this with the story of the 'researched' as important data (Akoto 2013, 80-82).

Thirdly, Narrative Inquiry focuses on the particular and the local, not on what is presumed to be generally believed about the communal or societal (Pinnegar and Daynes 2007, 23-24). Fourthly, Narrative Inquiry deliberately moves towards a blurring of genres of knowledge and consciously turns towards accepting multiple ways of knowing (Pinnegar and Daynes 2007, 25). Narrative Inquiry, then, is moving away from traditional historiographical values such as reliability, objectivity, generalisability and positivistic validity, to narrative ways of knowing that include qualitative storying, experience and lividness. At the same time the 'researcher' becomes self-critical and reflexive as to his or her own ability towards inclusiveness, non-discrimination, openness and change, and starts a journey of personal growth (Sammah 2013, 94).

Taking these four 'turns' as a methodological point of departure, we now proceed to narratively inquire into the stories of Vusi Derrick Mnisi, the secretary of the Unemployed People's Organisation Committee (UPOC) in Dullstroom-Emnotweni, and Dumisane Methula, a supporter of Pan-Africanism, in their relationship with the Freedom Charter of 1955.


Background: The story of UPOC

Since the dawn of inclusive government in South Africa under democratic rule (1994), the (previously) white town of Dullstroom and 'its' township, Sakhelwe, moved towards being unapartheided as Dullstroom-Emnotweni. However, the financial situation of the people living in the former township of Sakhelwe has not changed for the better over the past two decades. On the contrary, the situation has worsened and the unemployment rate is rising to over 70 per cent (Landman 2013, 189). Those who do have jobs are mainly waitressing in the 'white' town at a minimum salary. It is mainly the youth in the township who are affected by this massive unemployment.

It was in Sakhelwe where the Unemployed People's Organisation was established in 2012 by a group of young people. The committee of UPOC consisted - and still consists - of Joshua Mogoni (Chair), Koos Mthombeni (Deputy-Chair), Vusimuzi Mnisi (Secretary), Jan Mkhonto (Deputy-Secretary), Smanga Mashele (Treasurer), as well as Zandile Mthimunye, Marks Makuyane and Sizakele Mthombeni (additional members). Its main aim has been, since its establishment, to create jobs for the unemployed youth of Sakhelwe, and to do so through initiating the opening of mines in the vicinity of Dullstroom.

The first action taken by UPOC was to bring the demands of the young people of Sakhelwe under the attention of the general public. Consequently, in a letter dated 8 March 2013, they requested permission from the Magistrate of Belfast (UPOC 8 March 2013, 1) to conduct a (peaceful) demonstration. The demonstration was to be directed against the Ratepayers Association of Dullstroom. In the letter of request UPOC mentioned three reasons for their dissatisfaction with the Ratepayers: Firstly they are unhappy with the cars (of Ratepayers) displaying a sticker 'No mining' while the youth in Dullstroom were unemployed. Secondly, UPOC reacted against the apparent accusation of the Ratepayers that the people of Sakhelwe did not pay rates and taxes and that only people who were actually paying rent should have a say in the business of Dullstroom. The request letter brought under the attention of the Ratepayers that they, the youth of Dullstroom, were indeed not paying for services, but that they needed to be employed to pay rates and taxes, and that crime would thus be reduced. Thirdly, UPOC accused the Ratepayers that they were blocking employment opportunities that 'come along with mining'.

The demonstration took place on Friday 22 March, peacefully, and at 08:00 UPOC handed over a memorandum that was received (and signed) by Mr Verne Lello, Councillor of the Democratic Party (DA), on behalf of the Dullstroom Ratepayers Association, the Dullstroom-Emnotweni Chamber of Business and the Drive Dullstroom's Destiny, as well as the DA and ANC councillors (UPOC 22 March 2013, 1). Firstly, the memorandum in no uncertain language rejected the present values and forms ofjob creation in Dullstroom-Emnotweni that were on offer in the place of mining. Their arguments can be summarised as follows: (1) 'Fishing is no better than us'. (2) The jobs that were on offer were forms of slavery to the white people with the people of Sakhelwe earning only low wages. (3) Dullstroom as a tourist and retirement destination provided rest for rich people who could go and rest elsewhere. The youth wants to work and not provide a resting place for the already rich. (4) The unemployed did not benefit at all from fishing and the trout industry. (5) People who came to Dullstroom to create a fishing industry or to retire should go back where they came from, and remove the stickers 'NO MINING' from their cars since that made the UPO angry. Secondly, the memorandum gives two solutions to the problem. (1) Mining should be allowed in and around Dullstroom, or alternatively, (2) the Ratepayers of Dullstroom should compensate the unemployed in Sakhelwe with R7000.00 per person per month. The memorandum is concluded with the threat: 'If you punish us, we will punish you'. The Ratepayers were given seven days to respond.

The response came within four days on Tuesday 26 March 2013 (Dullstroom Ratepayers Association e.a. 26 March 2013, 1). UPOC was thanked for keeping the demonstration of 22 March peaceful. Since the response was jointly made on behalf of the business people3 and the political parties active in Dullstroom-Emnotweni (DA and ANC), it seems that UPOC found itself in an isolated position of its own, with no backup from the community or political parties. However, isolated by formal structures, UPOC enjoyed massive support from the community of Sakhelwe (Paulus Mnisi, WhatsApp 4 June 2015).

In their response the business-cum-political-people of Dullstroom-Emnotweni did not offer any assistance or commitment, nor did they promise to plan any action, but simply stated their position in supporting democracy, the right to a peaceful demonstration, job creation, the rule of law, and legal ways of reducing unemployment in 'our/Sakhelwe/Dullstroom community'. In their response they stated emphatically that they supported alternative ways of job creation, such as more jobs within tourism and trout fishing, as well as prospective ways of creating jobs, such as the tarring of the Kruisfontein road, the proposed Dunkeld development and the regeneration of the Dullstroom caravan park and nature reserve - most of which, according to the knowledge of this author, are private enterprises in the hands of local white business people. However, the response also stated in bold letters that 'We, the undersigned, support ALL prospecting and mining activities that has (sic) been approved by national AND local government'. In short, in their reply the 'Ratepayers', if one can collectively call them so, hid behind the authorities and coveredly reprimanded UPOC for being unreasonable and potentially lawless.

Subsequently, UPOC turned towards local government. In a letter dated 4 April 2013 they requested a meeting with the Executive Mayor of the eMakhazeni Local Municipality. The short letter reads as follows: 'Regarding the mines that must be discussed. We've attached some documents that will like you to look at. We can also be happy if you may have the power to find something for us from the Minister of Minerals and Resources and how long may such process take.' The addenda to this request are significant. In these the current applications for prospecting right for coal mining in the Dullstroom area are listed. There are five of them.4 To this UPOC wanted to add another application of which the location was not yet identified, but it was envisaged that 'a mining company will drill and excavate to see if there are minerals underground' (UPOC 4 April 2013: Addendum). However, they forsaw that the Ratepayers (and other organisations like the Endangered Wildlife Trust) would try to undermine these applications, and therefore UPOC called on the mayor to remember that only the government and eMakhazeni as the local municipality can run this, and 'that no ratepayers group or minority party can stop this process'.

Most significantly, in the documentation to the mayor (UPOC 4 April 2013: Addendum) UPOC called upon the Freedom Charter for their right to mine coal, or in their words: 'It is interesting to note that nobody who owns land in SA owns any mineral rights.. .In accordance with the Freedom Charter all underground minerals belong to the people and the government sets the rules of how minerals can be extracted.'

And indeed the Freedom Charter of 1955, of which the ANC now takes ownership (, reads: 'The mineral wealth beneath the soil.. .shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole.'

What happened to UPOC, their dreams and their efforts at the agency after the visit to the mayor? And could their call on the Freedom Charter convince, or rather compel, the mayor to put their requests into action? The documentation that UPOC handed over to the author indicates heavy activity on the side of UPOC for the two months of March and April 2013. However, the question is: What has happened in the two years and more after this?

On 7 December 2013 this author conducted an informal discussion with UPOC in which they revealed that the visit to the mayor and the call on the local municipality to assist them in opening coal mines have not as yet rendered any tangible results. Consequently, this author, in March/April 2015 - two years after UPOC's initial activities - started to plan interviews with the members of UPOC to determine whether UPOC as an agent of change was still in operation, and to what extent the Freedom Charter, now 60 years old, could assist disadvantaged black people towards voicing their ideals.

After applying for and receiving ethical clearance from the University of South Africa, a formal interview was scheduled for 3 May 2015 at the pastorie of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa in Sakhelwe/Dullstroom-Emnotweni. It turned out that the members of UPOC had given up on their dream of opening mines and have engaged in other money-making activities.5 Only Vusi Mnisi was available. The interview was conducted with him with the following aims: (1) to establish whether UPOC is still an agent for change in the community; (2) to determine the role played by the Freedom Charter of 1955 in UPOC formulating its goals and whether this role was sustainable; and (3) to determine whether the tenets of Narrative Inquiry could be realised in this process. Finally, the claim of UPOC to open mines will be problematised by asking other people in Sakhelwe whether this is sound practice against its threat to the environment.


INTERVIEWING Vusimuzi Derrick Mnisi

Vusi Mnisi (interviewed 3 May 2015) is the secretary of UPOC. He was born in 1987 and was 28 years old at the time of the interview. He was born and raised in Sakhelwe, and is of mixed Ndebele and Swazi decent. After finishing school 10 years ago, he was unemployed for more than five years. Eventually he went to Middelburg, 120 km west of Dullstroom (in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality) for training in handling heavy machinery on the coal mines. He worked for some time on the mines, but he was always on contract. In 2011 and 2012 he worked at Exxaro and in 2013 and 2014 at Anglo American. His last contract ended in 2014 and since then he has been unemployed.

Vusi finds questions6 on the environment irrelevant. What do trees and sacred land matter when you cannot live and make a living? Is this not the reason why his girlfriend left him? Vusi also does not care for alternative ways of making a living since he is trained to drive mining machinery.

Vusi, too, is not concerned about black empowerment in terms of black companies being empowered by the government to open the mines. He actually prefers an overseas company, a private one, with money to come in and open a mine that will pay him. He has no confidence that a local company will be able to deliver what he needs.

Vusi, furthermore, remembers that reference to the Freedom Charter to legitimise the opening of mines was powerful, but is not convinced that the Freedom Charter will pull through and compel the present government to care for the unemployed. They were looking through the history of their brothers and sisters who fought for freedom, and the Freedom Charter was mentioned. Of course it was handy to quote from the Freedom Charter that the minerals below the earth belonged to everybody.

But now, Vusi says, he is not sure whether it was even helpful to their case. Those who fought for liberation are now in power and do not care for those who are starving.

How, then, is the interview with Vusi to be placed within the three questions set in the above, those of agency, relevance and method? Firstly, the interview suggests that UPOC as an agency for bringing change to an impoverished community is failing, and that its founding members have either left the project or are hanging on out of self-interest. This finding that the agency has failed may come as good news to people who want to save the environment, who may be business people who act out of self-interest, or people who really care for the preservation of wildlife. Secondly, the Freedom Charter of1955 does not seem to play a sustainable role in empowering black people who previously were disadvantaged. Thirdly, the benefits of Narrative Inquiry do not fully come to the fore in this interview. The interviewer asked questions according to an interview schedule on black empowerment, alternative employment, environmental issues and the sustainability of the Freedom Charter that seem to be more appropriate to the interviewer's frame of mind than to that of the interviewee. On the other hand, 'data' were obtained that could not have been accessed through the documentation provided, data that honoured the local, the individual and the unexpected.

The author conducted a quick sms survey on 4 June 2015 amongst 25 people living in Sakhelwe and who are employed, asking them whether mines should be opened or whether the conservation of the environment should receive priority. Since the respondents were chosen off the contacts on the author's phone and were primarily members of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, to whom the author is attached as their pastor, the results of this survey may be of no significance at all. However, the results should be made known here. Although the respondents did not know who were approached, they all gave the same answer: Mines should be opened to give employment to people in Sakhelwe because of the extremely high unemployment rate. It seems, then, that the popularity of UPOC has waned during the past two years because they could not obtain any success; however, their dreams and claims are still alive in the hearts of the people.

Vusi and the respondents seem to be unaware of the fact that mining rights for an open cast coal mine have indeed been given to WPB Colliery in May 2015 (see FOSAF News Several mining jobs are also advertised for people in the vicinity of Dullstroom (see which are, however, on a level far above that of many half-schooled people of Sakhelwe. It seems, then, that UPOC's presumption may have been true, that if they did not apply for mining rights themselves, the people of Sakhelwe would not benefit from other initiatives.


Dumisane Methula

The idea of conducting an interview on the Freedom Charter of 1955 with Dumisane Methula arose during a conference on 'Accountable and sustainable leadership in Africa' held from 21 to 24 April 2015 and hosted by the Research Institute for Theology and Religion at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. In his keynote address, Prof Vusi Gumede who heads the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Foundation at the University of South Africa, made specific reference to the xenophobia which at the time ran rife in the country. During question time he was asked by Dumisane Methula why the South African blacks were xenophobically attacking others Africans while they should rather be chasing the whites out of the country. Gumede answered that the rethinking of their identity as white people living in Africa should be left to the whites to discuss, an answer that was not to the liking of the questioner. This incident drew the attention of the author to Methula. During a teatime conversation he specifically mentioned to the author that the Freedom Charter of 1955 was a sell-out document by the ANC because it referred to whites as co-owners of South Africa. An interview was arranged with him for 15 May 2015 to specifically talk about the Freedom Charter.

Dumisane Methula is 41 years old and lectures at the University of South Africa in the Department of Philosophy, Systematic and Practical Theology. He is also the pastor of an independent African church, the 'African Christian Mission Church'.

During the interview Methula emphasised that the Freedom Charter of1955 was drafted by 'communists', that is, people who believed that South Africa communally belonged to both black and white. 'Sharing' was the language of socialists and communists, he said, and it was also the language of the Freedom Charter. The ANC, he said, has since been taken over by communists who chose to overlook the heritage of colonialism and who have internationalised the struggle, denying that the struggle is an African one. Black Consciousness - via the voice of Steve Biko - did not accept the Freedom Charter of 1955. In its very first sentence the Freedom Charter says 'that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white...'. Methula did not agree with this and that South Africa belonged to all. Azania belonged to black people, to indigenous people, that is, to Africans. And African problems required African solutions, he said.

The Freedom Charter, furthermore, was too elitist, according to Methula, and did not cater for the needs of the poor, not did it speak to the aspirations of those who were left behind with nothing by colonialism. He pointed out that even the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) subscribed to the Freedom Charter (according to their website) and that this further pointed to the danger of this document.

Being asked to react to UPOC's call on the Freedom Charter of 1955 to open mines around Dullstroom, Methula said that mining might not be 'the best thing to do in that area'. He recommended that they did what the Afrikaners did when they came to power: They started their own businesses and infra-structure, not to be dependent on anybody. 'Africans don't do that', Methula said, 'they depend on others but they should take the example of the Afrikaner.'

The same three questions on agency, the sustainability of the Freedom Charter and the successes of Narrative Inquiry as were asked with reference to the interview with Vusi Mnisi, now need to be asked regarding the conversation with Methula. Firstly, Methula was indeed strong on agency and empowerment, albeit restricted to black people and not necessarily to the youth. Secondly, he did not see the Freedom Charter of 1955 as a guideline towards agency since it wanted to share prosperity between black and white. And thirdly, through Narrative Inquiry 'data' were indeed retrieved that would not have been available through documentation only. Methula's voice tells the story of the current resurrection of Black Consciousness and especially that of Black Theology. It is a voice profiling the alternative voice of Vusi Mnisi who is a worker looking desperately for a job in spite of what is recommended by a community of political thinking.



The aim of this article was threefold: to profile the agency of the Unemployed People's Organisation Committee (UPOC); to look at an instance where a call was made on the Freedom Charter of1955 to promote agency amongst poor black youth; and to discern the working of Narrative Inquiry in oral history research.

The story of UPOC was told by means of their correspondence with the Ratepayers of Dullstroom-Emnotweni and the Executive Mayor of eMakhazeni Local Municipality, provided to the author by the Chair of UPOC, Joshua Mogoni. The most significant insight on the values of UPOC came through an interview with Vusi Mnisi, secretary of UPOC. Living in dreadful conditions in Sakhelwe/ Dullstroom, where potholes define 'roads' and four generations of people live in one four-roomed house, the preservation of the environment is far from the mind of Vusi Mnisi. He needs a job and has training in mining activities. This is the area in which he wants and needs employment. The political parties and the white businesses have failed him, even government and the local municipality. Vusi, therefore, is looking for private companies to come and open mines in the Dullstroom vicinity that can give him a job. This is the only agency left to him.

The Freedom Charter of 1955 is 60 years old and celebrations are due. Here the story was told of how reference was made to the Freedom Charter in an unforeseen place, that is, in the claim of a youth organisation to the minerals lying underneath the ground of Dullstroom. In their angry but desperate plea, UPOC referred to the rights on minerals given to them by the Freedom Charter. However, neither did they themselves nor the recipients of their claim ever develop the Freedom Charter as a tool of empowerment. An interview with Dumisane Methula revealed that the Freedom Charter of 1955 is not seen by all blacks as liberating. The article nevertheless treasured the fact that reference to the Freedom Charter was found in a very neglected document in an empoverished rural township - which indeed points to its sustainable (albeit limited) relevance.

The processes and values of Narrative Inquiry were surfacing constantly throughout the research. The first tenet of Narrative Inquiry refers to the relationship between the researcher and the researched. Here, there was an unevenness between the researcher and the researched from the beginning, and they never really became 'co-researchers'. The expectations of the researched were different from that of the researcher. When explained that this research was for an academic article, it created a distance between the researcher and the researched, who wanted advocacy for their case.7 However, the author constantly throughout the interviews tried to stay away from 'objectivity' as a value determining the interviews, and concentrated on the interviewees being non-static and contextual in the way in which they gave words to their experiences and dreams. The unique narrative identity of each interviewee was honoured while they constructed themselves through words: Vusi belongs to UPOC but also to his own needs; Dumisane is Pan-Africanist yet part of a larger group of liberation thinkers in the Unisa setup where he works and teaches. This was not to be made suspicious by the author, who is simply to listen without interference of objectivity or the pointing out of inconsistencies.

Secondly, Narrative Inquiry regards stories and words as data, and indeed the interviews conducted revealed 'data' not to be found in published material. This 'data' include fears, anger, dreams, and the story of the reception of the Freedom Charter in a variety of circles. The data were received autoethnographically, that is, the author constantly reflected on the 'crossing of memories' that were at stake when she as an employed person from another culture (an Afrikaner culture from which she has distanced herself to a high degree) was doing the interviewing where there was poverty (Vusi) and political radicalism (Dumisane). Thirdly, Narrative Inquiry focuses on the particular and the local, and here Narrative Inquiry was particularly informative and helpful in assisting the author to listen to stories that were not the ones expected. Vusi was expected to be black liberationalist, but he was in need of a job. Dumisane was suspected to be anti-white but eventually quoted his leader and mentor, Robert Sebukwe, who said that anyone (black and white) who had chosen for Africa was an African. Also, the story of Vusi in particular showed no reference to the land, that might be contrary to the author's view on the preservation of the environment.

Fourthly, narrative ways of knowing move away from traditional historiographical values such as generalisability and positivistic validity, to storying, experience and lividness. Looking back at the interviews, the author is critical both of herself and the ethical clearance process required by her institution. She asked questions on trees or jobs, black empowerment and alternative employment that were not on the mind of the interviewee but on her own agenda. At the same time she was forced to do this because of an ethical clearance process that demands that an interview schedule be presented beforehand, that is, without leaving space to negotiate the questions with the interviewee.

The research has placed the author on a path of personal and professional growth in being exposed to the dreams, the agency, the failures, the aspirations, the vulnerability of the poor, the strength of the thinkers, with many of the views expressed being contrary to her own. Truly, this is freedom.


List of references

Published works

Akoto, J.S. 2013. 'The teeth and the tongue: A narrative inquiry journey in Ghana.' In Trahar 2013: 74-88.         [ Links ]

Clandinin, D.J. (ed.) 2007. Handbook of Narrative Inquiry: Mapping a methodology. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications.         [ Links ]

Knibb, J. 2013. 'Private lives, public property: Narrating the lives of mothers whose children have significant special needs.' In Trahar 2013: 20-34.         [ Links ]

Landman, C. 2013. 'The histories of children's futures.' In C. Landman (ed.), OHASA Conference Proceedings 2, pp 189-220.         [ Links ]

Landman, C. 2015. 'In watter rigting lê ons vryheid?' In Beeld 27 May 2015, p 8.         [ Links ]

Pinnegar, S. and J.G. Daynes. 2007. 'Locating Narrative Inquiry historically: Thematics in the turn to narrative'. In Clandinin 2007: 3-34.         [ Links ]

Sammah, N.A. 2013. 'Seeing with new eyes: Becoming a narrative inquirer in higer education practice.' In Trahar 2013: 89-107.         [ Links ]

Trahar, S. (ed.) 2013. Contextualising Narrative Inquiry: Developing methodological approaches for local contexts. London & New York: Routledge.         [ Links ]

West, D. 2013. 'What's in a sign? Narrative Inquiry and deaf storytellers'. In Trahar 2013: 1-19.         [ Links ]

Unpublished documents

UPOC. 2013. Request for permission for a march from the Magistrate, Belfast. 8 March 2013. One page. Copy with author.         [ Links ]

UPOC. 2013. Memorandum to the Ratepayers in Dullstroom. 22 March 2013. One page. Copy with author.         [ Links ]

UPOC. 2013. To the Executive Mayor ELM. 4 April 2013. One page plus two addenda: (1) Mining processes, and (2) Current mining developments in the Dullstroom area. Three pages. Copy with author.         [ Links ]

Dullstroom Ratepayers Association, e.a. 2013. Response to the Unemployed People's Organisation. 26 March 2013. One page. Copy with author.         [ Links ]

Oral interviews

Methula, Dumisane. 12 May 2015. University of South Africa, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Mnisi, Vusimuzi Derrick. 3 May 2015. Sakhelwe/Dullstroom-Emnotweni.         [ Links ]

UPOC. 7 December 2013. Dullstroom-Emnotweni.         [ Links ]

Electronic messages and internet references

Paulus Mnisi, sms 2 June 2015; WhatsApp 4 June 2015.

Vusi Mnisi, WhatsApp 2 June 2015.

Freedom Charter:



1 Previously the township of Dullstroom was known as Sakhelwe. At present, both the traditionally black and traditionally white areas are designated as Dullstroom-Emnotweni.
2 eMakhazeni Local Municipality has since become part of Steve Tshwete Municipality.
3 Dullstroom Ratepayers Association (signed for by Peter St Clair), the Dullstroom- Emnotweni Chamber of Business (signed for by Del-Monte Roberts as President) and the Drive Dullstroom's Destiny (signed for by Jonathan Bolton as Chairman)
4 They are (1) Actacoal that has identified 25 farms between Dullstroom and Belfast for potential coal prospecting; (2) Lilynet that wants to mine coal on the farm Windhoek on the Tonteldoos Road north of Dullstroom; (3) Basadi Penial Logistics (from Middelburg) for coal mining on the farm Paardeplaats of Mr Greg Williams west of Belfast; (4) BES Consulting on the farm Elandskloof on the Machadodorp road south of Dullstroom; and (5) Mr William Bower who wants to mine at Groenvlei, east of Belfast on the Dullstroom road.
5 Joshua Mogoni, for instance, is selling 'afval' from his car for an income. (What is afval? Intestines? )
6 The interview schedule contained 14 questions that did not all seem relevant to the situation, and thus reflected on the ethical clearance process that necessitated a fixed interview schedule beforehand. The questions were : (1) How long have you been staying in Sakhelwe? (2) Do you agree that about 70 per cent of the people in Sakhelwe are unemployed? (3) Can you tell us something of what it is like to live in Sakhelwe? (4) Where does the idea of opening mines come from? (5) Have you considered other options? (6) Why do you think do some people in Dullstroom-Emnotweni resist the idea of opening mines? (7) Can you tell something about the resistance that you have experienced? (8) Why do you think this is changing? (9) Is any political party on your side? (10) How are things at the moment regarding the opening of the mines? (11) Do you trust private companies to open mines here? Are they in black hands? (12) How did you get acquainted with the Freedom Charter? (13) Why are you attracted specifically to the Freedom Charter? (14) How do you as young people see the future?
7 The author did indeed write and publish a 'popular' article for the daily newspaper Beeld (27 May 2015, 8) to problematise the issues of 'freedom' and 'Freedom Charter' but Vusi did not see this as 'advocacy'.

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