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Jay Naidoo speaks about a community thriving on their own land

Written by: Bontle Ndlovu

One of the emotive, topical issues in South Africa is that of land, land ownership and the need to undo the legacy of apartheid. There seems to be the growing perception that those who own land, aren’t willing to share or release it to those in need.

Political and social activist, and founding general secretary of Cosatu, Jay Naidoo and the love of his life, award-winning French-Canadian author and journalist Lucie Page joined Koketso to chat about a village that’s self-sufficient and thriving.

My wife interviewed me 27 years ago, and we’ve spent a marvelous 27 years with 3 beautiful children together, it’s the first time we’ve been together in a show.

Jay Naidoo, Political and social activist, and founding general secretary of Cosatu

Page jokingly replies that she doesn’t do that with all her interviews - marry them and have kids.

Naidoo continued to talk about the village, saying that the birth of the new Naledi farm is an incredible story. He says that many years ago, they tried to understand what was happening in the country.

I spent most of my life trying to change the systems, which we did do in 1994.

Jay Naidoo, Political and social activist, and founding general secretary of Cosatu

We realised that changing that the system is not sufficient, says Naidoo, what we need to look at is how to change the individual, not just the system.

Naidoo adds that the couple had gone to the village in an attempt to find a safe space to discuss inter-generational solutions at a local and global level.

At the farm, we found 175 people living on the land, says Naidoo.

There were still leaders in their village and together we sat down and said, how do we work together?

Jay Naidoo, Political and social activist, and founding general secretary of Cosatu

Naidoo says that the one things leaders from that village mentioned, was their countless evictions. He adds that the leaders wanted to build their dream village and own land.

Together we started a journey which resulted in people planting their own food, and that created a sense of security says Naidoo.

The second thing was eco-tourism, Naidoo says, and so the community built a beautiful lodge that could accommodate 100 people. It’s a social enterprise so the lodge is run by the community.

To hear more on this amazing journey, click on the link below...


This article first appeared on 702 : Jay Naidoo speaks about a community thriving on their own land




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