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Knowledge, power, livelihoods and commons practices in Dwesa-Cwebe, South Africa


  • Frank Matose


This paper explores two aspects of the management of the commons in the Transkei area of Dwesa-Cwebe and traces them from the 1870s to today. The first is the intersection of power, politics and knowledge. National interests are privileged over local interests in the management of forests and grasslands that were controlled by local people before the onset of colonialism. This leads to the marginalisation of certain groups. The second is the economics of common resources. The paper contrasts communities' multiple livelihood strategies with the state's single strategy system. It looks at how state policies have changed people's status and their dependence on resources, and reflects on Dwesa-Cwebe's prospects of managing its commons now that local institutions have been undermined and livelihood patterns changed.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Matose, 2009. "Knowledge, power, livelihoods and commons practices in Dwesa-Cwebe, South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 627-637.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:26:y:2009:i:4:p:627-637
    DOI: 10.1080/03768350903181407

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