The New Beginnings community development project :social capacity as prerequisite for sustainability

Loots, Cedric (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African wine industry has a history of super-exploitation. Wine farm labour practices such as paternalism, tied housing, tied employment and the tot system have maintained farm worker communities in a trapped and dependent position. Within these trapped farm worker communities social pathologies such as alcohol abuse, a highly unstable family life, illegitimacy and illiteracy are common. On an individual level, members of these communities are predominantly low in selfconfidence, self-esteem, self-reliance etc. On a communal level, domestic violence, child battering, drunken brawls, knife stabbings etc. are common in farm worker communities. In response to these conditions in wine farm worker communities, a number of initiatives have been launched within the South African wine industry. This research study focuses on one of these initiatives, called the New Beginnings project. As one of the first projects of its kind, it succeeded in releasing a farm worker community from its trapped and dependent position. This was the outcome since the project succeeded as a community development process. The community development process is essentially about building or increasing social capacity. The building of social capacity refers to a process whereby both agency and solidarity are increased within a community. Agency or capacity building has to do with the building of values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and personal qualities, e.g. self-esteem and self-reliance, of individual community members, while solidarity has to do with the building of cohesion, trustful relationships and connectivity among various community members. The New Beginnings project illustrates that community development practice that abide by guiding principles that aim to achieve both agency and solidarity building within a community, would eventually result in the sustainability of the project.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf het ‘n geskiedenis van super-eksploitasie. Arbeidspraktyke soos paternalisme, gebonde behuising, gebonde indiensneming asook die dopstelsel het verseker dat plaaswerker-gemeenskappe in ‘n gevange en afhanklike posisie gehou word. Die gevolg is dat sosiale euwels soos alkoholmisbruik, ‘n hoogs onstabiele gesinslewe, onwettigheid asook ongeletterdheid algemeen voorkom in hierdie gevange plaaswerker-gemeenskappe. Op ‘n indiwiduele vlak, het die oorgrote meerderheid lede van hierdie gemeenskappe min selfvertroue en selfwaarde. Op ‘n gemeenskaplike vlak, kom gesinsgeweld, kindermishandeling, dronkmansbakleiery en messtekery algemeen voor in plaaswerker-gemeenskappe. As teenvoeter vir die bogenoemde toestande in plaaswerker-gemeenskappe, is verskeie inisiatiewe aan die gang gesit in die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf. Hierdie navorsingstudie fokus op een van hierdie inisiatiewe, genaamd die ‘New Beginnings’ projek. As een van die eerste projekte van sy soort, het hierdie projek daarin geslaag om ‘n plaaswerker-gemeenskap vanuit sy gevange en afhanklike posisie te bevry. Die resultaat van die projek was juis moontlik omdat die projek as ‘n gemeenskapsontwikkelings- proses geslaag het. Die gemeenskaps-ontwikkelings-proses gaan hoofsaaklik oor die bou of vermeerdering van sosiale kapasiteit. Die bou van sosiale kapasiteit verwys na ‘n proses waartydens beide agentskap en solidariteit binne ‘n gemeenskap vermeerder word. Agentskap of kapasiteitsbou het te make met die skep van waardes, houdings, kennis, vaardighede asook persoonlike eienskappe, bv. selfwaarde en selfstandigheid, van indiwiduele gemeenskapslede, terwyl solidariteit te doen het met die bou of skep van samehorigheid, betroubare verhoudings en ‘n eenheidsgevoel tussen verskeie gemeenskapslede. Die ‘New Beginnings’ projek wys dat gemeenskapsontwikkelings- praktyk wat hou by die riglyne om beide agentskap en solidariteit binne ‘n gemeenskap te bou, uiteindelik tot die volhoubaarheid van die projek aanleiding sal gee.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16611
This item appears in the following collections: