An Introduction to Afesis-corplan…

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Afesis-corplan is a development NGO located in East London South Africa whose work aims at deepening local democracy, the attainment of good governance and spatial justice.

Afesis was established as a Trust by a group of activists in the early 1980s. ‘Aphesis‘, a Greek word meaning liberation, was specifically chosen to ‘confuse’ the security police at the time.  Afesis’s work had a sharp civic-rights education focus fueled by its participation in movement building and apartheid resistance.

In the early 1990s, Corplan (short for Community Research and Planning) was a established as a project of Afesis to provide technical support to the One City Campaign (and other community groupings) calling for housing development closer to urban centers and employment opportunities.  Soon after this, a decision was made to rename the organization as Afesis-corplan and to register it as a non-profit section 21 company, so as to highlight the shift in emphasis from resistance to Apartheid to the promotion of integrated settlement development.

Afesis-corplan also played an active role in building the ‘architecture’ of a democratic South Africa. In the mid 1990’s Afesis-corplan’s work focused on promoting integrated settlement development and deepening local democracy, specifically supporting local citizens to participate in local government planning, implementation and monitoring processes.

Its achievements over the years include its influence in shaping various policies and legislation, the development of innovative people-centred solutions to housing development, and supporting various communities over the years to demand accountability and improved basic services.

Afesis-corplan remains concerned about the systemic and systematic challenges in local government, the persistent apartheid spatial patterns and generally, the prevalent social injustices. Its work presently and in the near future will be directed towards addressing some of these concerns with a specific focus on supporting the emergence of an active citizenry (movement building) as well as the attainment of good governance and spatial justice.