The first CSO Indaba was an introduction to the Olifants Catchment, the RESILIM—O program and AWARD’s work with non profit organisations. We looked at the state of play in the Civil Society sector, and how important CSOs are to a healthy democracy. Discussions were had around the two different types of CSOs, being service delivery and watchdog. The focus for the rest of the day was on Resilience Building in the face of climate change, and ascertaining how relevant civil society’s work is in the light of climate change predictions. We looked at risks and vulnerabilities in the catchment and how communities are impacted. We talked about getting organised and how we initiate collective action, as well as the tools available to assist us with our work. Organisations spoke about the initiatives they are currently involved with, we set up a working group and closed with reflections on The one thing I learned today that I didn’t know is …and What I would like to know more about is …..
Getting to know each other. We launched our googlemaps project, which sees CSOs mapped onto google maps so that they can easily be found and contacted. We reported back on Agenda working groups and discussed ideas for future Indabas that came out of working groups. Derick du Toit of AWARD presented a session on Know your Catchment. Adv. Shirhami Shirinda of the Legal Resources Centre presented Know your Rights: the Bill of Rights, Constitution, Catchment Based Rights, Know your Environmental Rights. He explored with participants, Who do we report environmental infractions to? What procedures do we follow? What kind of language do we use? What to do if your legal rights are not respected? In the group work we explored which rights are being violated in participants’ areas, and concluded the day by creating a collective vision.
After introductions and getting to know who was in the room and what their focus area is, we looked at participants’ reflections from Cycle 2’s Indaba, which included ideas for what could be improved upon and what was useful and valuable. We identified collaborations that have come out of the CSO Indabas and had a look at our Google Maps project, which identifies CSOs active in the Olifants Catchment and makes their details publically available. The Collective Vision that participants of the Upper, Middle and Lower Catchment created was described locally, as well as a collated version which painted the picture of a Catchment-wide vision. We followed up on Letters of Complaint that participants had sent to municipalities, companies and other institutions, and had feedback from Adv. Shirhami Shirinda of the LRC on how to proceed with our collective action. Derick du Toit continued with his Know your Catchment segment, and Elvis Komane of CULISA presented on Caution: Carbon Kills. We looked at the change in land use over four decades and did a focused session on land use and planning, including SPLUMA, the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act.
The Collective Vision of the CSO Indaba Program:
1. Working together
2. Managing our waste
3. Access to clean water
4. Care for our natural resources
5. Improving our skills and ability to do things
6. Getting young people involved
7. Making sure we remain healthy
8. Making a living in our catchment
9. Reducing dependency on mining
10. Enough food for everyone
11. Being honest and transparent
12. Involvement in catchment accountability
13. Ensuring good service delivery
14. Supporting good leadership