LARC Lunchtime Seminar: Daniel Huizenga

4 Apr 2017 - 09:15

Asserting community rights to consent at the intersection of traditional authorities, living law, and extractive industry
Daniel Huizenga
Date: Wednesday, 05 April 2017
Time: 12h30 - 14h00 (light refreshments from 12h15)
Venue: Level 4, All Africa House 1, Middle Campus, UCT 

ABSTRACT: Critics argue that proposed national legislation, such as the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Bill, entrenches apartheid-era territories and bolsters the authority of traditional leaders over rural peoples. They further argue that amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act fail to stipulate an adequate standard of community consent. Collective land holding in rural areas is found to be better understood as forms of social tenure whereby individuals, kinship networks, communities, or other levels of social organization access and control land in layered and nested forms of authority. The difference between these approaches come to a head on the issue of ‘Free Prior and Informed Consent’ (FPIC) in the context of extractive industries as local communities and traditional leaders both claim to be the legitimate authority to grant consent to mining on communal land. Legal and political debates around whether FPIC applies to local communities or indigenous peoples adds another layer of complexity. In this seminar I focus on the Xolobeni community and their struggle to stop mining on their traditional lands to illuminate the diverse means by which rural peoples and their advocates are asserting community rights to land and resources. I highlight some of the ways that authority in traditional territories is being challenged and reconfigured through struggles engaging with multiple scales and jurisdictions of law and policy, from municipal to transnational. I develop a framework of ‘articulation in assemblage’ to interrogate the complex power dynamics at play in this contested terrain.    

BIO: Daniel Huizenga is a PhD Candidate in the Socio-Legal Studies program at York University, Toronto, Canada and is currently a visiting researcher at the Land and Accountability Research Centre, University of Cape Town