Monday, 31 March 2014
Transition towns in the majority world (journal)
How can the “transition paradigm” be implemented in poor communities in South Africa where most people are dependent on income from government grants? Here, the aim cannot be to have a transition to a lower consumption society; these societies are actually under-consuming. Rather, it is necessary to create settlements which are sustainable in almost every way: in terms of livelihoods, natural resources, energy and water usage, health and education, transport, and waste disposal. In this model, sustainable communities use the skills, assets and resources of their members to generate livelihoods. This paper observes three existing communities in South Africa with the objective of analysing how such models are integrated (or not) into the local economy. Thereafter aspects of a model that envisages ways that poor communities can create sustainable livelihoods, using local skills and resources, are presented. This model requires strategies for creating localised systems, including micro finance, local markets, com-munity exchange networks, cooperative construction, production and distribution systems; and infrastructure and technology systems.