Abstract

In this paper I argue that the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee (SECC) provides an illustration of the repertoires and strategies of scale that communities and individuals adopt in making sense of the places they inhabit. Like many post-apartheid social movement organisations, the SECC contains both the everyday lived experiences of its members as well as broader social and political agendas. The organisation is constituted at the scale of the local neighbourhood branch on the one hand, and at the scale of the activists and academics that make up much of its leadership on the other hand. The leadership maintains a strong national and international profile; many branch-members of the SECC join because of shared local experience. While these two scales of the organisation are not necessarily contradictory, I argue that they are separately articulated and offer very different networks and political resources in contesting state policy electricity provision. I conclude that these competing claims of scale are not simply tools in a political game, but may in fact indicate more complex social and personal identifications with place.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1726-1368
Print ISSN
0258-7696
Pages
pp. 98-115
Launched on MUSE
2008-08-31
Open Access
No
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