Today the Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN), a network of non-profit organisations that aims to share knowledge and collectively promote accoutable and democratic local governance, publishes its annual publication on the state of local government in South Africa. The current issue, entitled Navigating Accountability and Collaboration in Local Governance, allows member organisations to reflect on the importance of accountability and collaboration as key values that drive the reclaiming of local democratic spaces. SERI has been a long standing member organisation of the network and contributed to the publication.
SERI's contribution, written by SERI researchers Edward Molopi and Tiffany Ebrahim, is entitled "Spatial Justice: Accountability through Collaboration and Confrontation". The chapter reflects on SERI's work to improve social and spatial justice through a combination of confrontational, cooperative and complementary strategies. It discusses different methods of engaging the state in order to advance accountability through the lens of a “4C” (Confrontational, Complementary, Cooperative and Co-opted) model. It then sets out examples of SERI's use of different methods: the Chung Hua Mansions case as an example of a confrontational method; the application of the findings of SERI's Edged Out research report as a complementary method, and SERI’s Submission on the City of Johannesburg’s Special Process for the Relocation of Evictees (SPRE) as a cooperative method. The chapter concludes with some thoughts on lessons learnt, and the implications and risks of these approaches.