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2010 Annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture, University of the Witwatersrand


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Taylor & Francis Group
Africa | Southern Africa

In 2008 unemployment in Zimbabwe went up over 90 per cent, and the country was hit with rampant inflation, food insecurity, political violence, a cholera epidemic and a near collapse of the education and health systems. The crisis hit its peak in that year after failed elections. These conditions in Zimbabwe have forced nearly one quarter of the population into a diaspora, much of which has travelled to South Africa. People cross the border as a matter of survival, many heading to Johannesburg in search of work. Over the past several years, growing numbers have sought refuge at the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg which had opened its doors to the homeless and destitute. The Ruth First Fellowship supported the author's research to explore conditions at Central Methodist Church. This lecture shares some of the complexity of addressing the challenges there.


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