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Objectives :

  • Strengthen mining affected community movements and support their fight to ensure mining companies and government uphold their human rights.
  • With a focus on youth and womxn, support landless and agricultural communities living in poverty and exclusion to claim and defend their right to land and food sovereignty.
  • Bring women’s rights to the forefront of mining, land and agricultural collectives to actively address the gendered dimensions of natural resource related inequalities and injustices.

There has historically been unequal access to and ownership of natural resources in South Africa be it land, minerals or water. Monopoly over these fundamental resources continues to remain in the hands of a small number of individuals and corporations. This control is reinforced by violent dispossession, as well as racial and gender exclusions. Not only has post-apartheid South Africa failed to redress these inequalities, but the experience of mining affected communities, landless people, small scale farmers, mine and farm workers has worsened due to a rampant profit driven capitalist system. The people, who bear the brunt of dispossession, environmental damage, a lack of access to natural resources and rights violations, are black womxn.

Over the past four years mining communities have made great strides through the formation of Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) and womxn Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) strong social movements supported by AASA. However, these structures remain formative and the forces they oppose remain very powerful.

Furthermore, agricultural policies and government investment is biased towards a high input agriculture that does not accommodate smallholder farmers leading to household food insecurity. This situation is further exacerbated by the negative impacts of climate change, leaving poor-resource smallholder farmers with limited economic alternatives, increased vulnerability and poverty. As a result, the food security needs of smallholder womxn farmers, who constitute 70% of smallholder food producers, have been overlooked. AASA strongly believe that access to land and support to small scale production must go hand in hand in addressing rural and urban food insecurity.

Achievements

  • 34 Food gardens were established, so now families living in poverty can make a living and don’t need to go hungry.
  • 10 Large communities affected by mining will be able to use a baseline report, generated from a social audit spanning 2,000 households, to hold government and mining companies accountable