Post 1994 Social Movement Histories - The Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF)   ( 2010 - 2011 )

Conducted in 2010 - 2011, this project sought to provide, through document and oral history collection in 2010 - 2011, the first, comprehensive and multi-form history of one of South Africa's key post-1994 social movements. While the APF, as well as a few other South African post-1994 social movements, has varying quantities of hard copy and electronic material repositories, there were, to our knowledge, no formal material archives or oral (in written and/or audio forms) histories of any of the main social movements in South Africa before this project.

Poster - Fight privatisation

The objectives of this project included:

  • To collect and produce a formal archive of all available material from within the APF and its community affiliates, as well as material about the APF from outside the movement;
  • To produce a formally archived collection of oral histories - both in written and audio forms - from selected APF and associated community affiliate leaders/activists/members;
  • To produce a series of audio documentaries designed for radio use and informational and educative purposes within the APF and its community affiliates;
  • To produce a popular written history (in the form of a publication) of the APF/its community affiliates.
  • To identity and submit a range of PAIA (‘Promotion of Access to Information Act') requests, in conjunction with the APF and its community affiliates
  • To provide the conceptual and practical foundation from which to assess how best to ensure that the scattered and indeed endangered, archives (in the broadest interpretation of the word) of post-1994 social movements in South Africa can be collected, recorded and housed in formal archival custody. 

Besides the more ‘straightforward' task of collecting and recording various materials of, and about, the APF, oral histories gathered from APF members focused on the following:

  • APF community organisational history;
  • Basic demands and issues engaged by the APF;
  • Organisational strategy and tactics;
  • Responses from the state;
  • Relations with political parties and other social movements and/or community organisations;
  • Levels and content of political and social activism;
  • Key problems, challenges, failures and successes both organisationally and politically.

Underlying these is the larger issue of the ways in which the history and development of the APF and its community affiliates has been shaped by the dominant (macro) post-1994 political and socio-economic trajectory in South Africa.

A publication, exhibition and virtual exhibition were produced in the course of this project, and a new archival collection added to SAHA's holdings.