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|Title: ||Contesting citizenship: Civil society struggles over livelihood and educational access in coastal settlements of the Western Cape, South Africa|
|Authors: ||Petersen, Carolyn|
|Supervisor(s): ||Barnard, Alan|
|Issue Date: ||2008|
|Abstract: ||This thesis examines how citizenship is being contested in post-apartheid South Africa
through civil society struggles over livelihood and educational access in coastal settlements
of the Western Cape. It contends that civil society activities represent a key site of learning
and action towards expanding citizenship for marginalised groups. Citizenship from this
perspective is both expressed in and influenced by civil society struggles, while being
constrained by external and structural forces such as globalisation and neo-liberal influences.
This thesis examines the interconnections between three key pillars of citizenship in this
context – access to material or livelihood resources and opportunities, educational access and
capability requirements, and civil society contestation.
Structural constraints continue to exist at national or policy level to ‘historically
disadvantaged’ (‘black’ and ‘coloured’) groups gaining full citizenship. Socio-economic and
educational capability requirements are important exclusionary factors in terms of access to
livelihood resources and opportunities, including language and literacy requirements
operating through bureaucratic or politically mediated processes. The analyses use the
example of marine resource access for small-scale, informal economy workers to
demonstrate these practices. In access to adult education and training opportunities, gaps and
inequities in infrastructure and provision continue to form the major constraint. In both of
these strands of access, accountability of policy-makers, political leaders and decisionmakers
is a key issue.
Civil society activities represent one of the few available avenues for challenging inequities,
drawing on local action as well as international networks. Civil society efforts have resulted
in some gains regarding access to marine resources and in pushing for recognition of
citizenship for small-scale fishers. This thesis argues that it is the contestation and
cooperation that has occurred between civil society and government that creates the space in
which citizenship has been expanded and contested, rather than civil society activities alone.
Ultimately, however, overcoming these challenges is likely to require wider interventions,
including a more enabling policy environment and greater access to intermediate skills
|Keywords: ||Social and political science|
|Appears in Collections:||Centre of African Studies thesis and dissertation collection|
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