About us

“The fight to avoid a catastrophic outcome to this crisis engendered by capitalism is the fight to safeguard the material conditions for the survival with dignity of humankind.” – Alexandre Costa, Brazilian climate scientist

There is a growing consensus, both globally and nationally that we face the unprecedented twin challenge created by inter-linked economic and environmental crises. This is no less true for South and Southern Africa. In a context where 20 years of democracy has failed to restructure the economy away from the dominance of the Minerals Energy Complex (MEC) in a way that can provide decent work and livelihoods to its people, redistribute wealth so that inequality can be reversed and poverty overcome AIDC has formulated a strategic plan centred on forging alliances built on an alternative development strategy which is low carbon, wage led, economically sustainable and equitable. Such alliances become increasingly possible in a context in which a profound reorganisation and realignment of forces underway, propelled by the significance of the Marikana massacre and highlighted by the decision of COSATU’s biggest affiliate the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) to break-away from the ruling Tripartite Alliance and establish a workers party. This process is enhanced by the emergence of the militant mineworkers union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) and the rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as a mass anti-capitalist youth formation that has over 60 representatives in national and provincial parties as well as several other progressive grassroots formations that challenge government’s neoliberal policies. AIDC has come to occupy a uniquely important role in relation to many of these major movements as well several ongoing struggles in South and Southern Africa that can and must be linked, consolidated and rallied behind an urgent call for a just transition to a just and sustainable development path. This position both enables and obligates AIDC to exert its best efforts in supportively shaping and guiding the unfolding reconfiguration of forces into a meaningful counter-force that is capable of leading the struggle for a just transition to a just and sustainable alternative development path. In this context we have developed the following strategic goal: A united, self-aware and self-confident alliance of labour, community, faith-based, environmental and women’s organisations and movements are increasingly effective in developing a democratic, socially just, economically viable and ecologically sustainable development responses to the legacy of underdevelopment, neoliberal globalisation and extractivist modes of development. This development goal is underpinned by the following project objectives that will be achieved over the next three year period (2015 – 2017) Knowledge Production and Dissemination Original research and analysis is used by labour, community, faith-based, environmental and women’s organisations and movements in support of day-to-day struggles for decent work, a living wage, essential services and an environment free of pollution, as well as in advocating and campaigning for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy. Popular Education Activists from AIDC’s partner organisations and movements, especially women, have the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead within their own structures, and to link their local struggles to the wider movement for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy. Movement-Building Advocacy Alliances and coalitions of labour, community, faith-based, environmental and women’s organisations are campaigning locally, nationally and regionally for decent work, a living wage, essential services and an environment free of pollution, and for a just transition to a low-carbon, wage-led, sustainable and equitable economy. In pursuing these objectives we will work with beneficiaries from organisations and movements in the labour, faith-based, community and environmental justice sectors, principally in South Africa but with activities that reach across the southern Africa region – well over 100,000 people in total. In the coming period we envisage increasing work with a growing number of formations throughout southern Africa, especially Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the DRC and Mauritius. This plan was developed in consultation with several organisations and movements that have been intimately involved in developing and implementing AIDC programmes over the last three years.