The Homeless People's Alliance: Purposive creation and ambiguated realities

Firoz Khan, Edgar Pieterse
PDF, 2004

In this study, we trace the origins, growth trajectory, ideological framework, organisational praxis and developmental impact of the Homeless People's Alliance. In our view, the sophisticated ideological framework of the HPA, and its unique engagement with the state, is of particular significance and therefore constitutes the main focus of the case study. However, to fully understand the dynamic adaptability of this movement, we also hone in on a key episode in the life of the movement – a major restructuring exercise in 2001/2 precipitated by a series of crises. In adopting this approach, we explore the unique attributes of the HPA vis-à-vis other social movements being studied in this project, teasing out broader conceptual and political implications for understanding the unfolding dynamics between the state and civil society in democratic South Africa.

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