Skip to content
Unisa Press

From our side: Emerging perspectives on development and ethics

Editors: Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman and Sytse Strijbos

Published within the  SAVUSA series, by Unisa Press and Rozenberg

Format : 245 x 165  mm x mm (Laminated softcover)
Pages: x + 293
Item number: 7918
Publish year: 2008
ISBN 13: 978 90 5170 974 2
SA price: R200.00(VAT incl)
Other countries in Africa:  R215,00(Airmail incl)
Rest of the world:
US$ 35,00(Airmail incl)
Europe: Contact Rozenberg at
Rozenberg Publishers, Bloemgracht 82hs, 1015 TM Amsterdam, The Netherlands
E-mail: /


 From Our Side

south africa politics / history / human rights

This is an important book, which needed to be written. It now needs to be read by everyone with any interest in development issues within southern Africa and beyond, and especially in the role that the Church, alongside other faith communities, has the potential to play.Njongunkulu Ndungane, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town

Fom our side is a collaborative effort of younger scholars in southern Africa and the Netherlands who are interested in the relationship between development and ethics, from a Christian point of view. The 17 chapters that make up the book have been produced through a unique set of partnerships, in which the authors have intentionally worked with practitioners who are working in the development arena. The essays were also shared in a number of settings with the authors, so that they have also benefited from this creative partnership process, and these partnerships have embraced people in both the South and the North, signalling a desire for a global dialogue led by Africa on matters which have a strong impact upon the continent.


Acknowledgements  iii
Foreword  - by Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane    v

Introduction: From our side 1
Steve de Gruchy, Nico Koopman and Sytse Strijbos

1 Christian leadership in ‘another country’: Contributing to an ethical development
agenda in South Africa today 9
Steve de Gruchy with Willem Ellis

2 Who will decide? Towards a more balanced donor-recipient relationship 21
Sytse Strijbos in conversation with Gerard Verbeek

3 Churches, public life and development: Restoration of human dignity in the context
of education 33
Nico Koopman in conversation with Francina Koopman

4 Immigrants and the problem of integration: A hermeneutical approach to understand
the identity of the Ethiopian diaspora 47
Girma Mohammed in conversation with an anonymous dialogue partner

5 Due South: The challenges and opportunities of African migrancy to South Africa 61
Genevieve James in conversation with Tadele Nagesh

6 Do minorities need cultural rights? The case of the Griqua people in South Africa 75
Jan van der Stoep in conversation with Mr. Cecil le Fleur and Captain Johannes

7 About the empowerment of women in the Church in post-apartheid South Africa: A
post-structural approach 87
Mary-Anne Plaatjies-Van Huffel with Dineo Seloana

8 Wage negotiations and development in South Africa 101
Clint Le Bruyns in conversation with Archie Palane

9 Noka e Tlatswa ke Dinokana - A river swells from little streams: Responsive
partnership-building approaches to development 117
Lucius Botes and Diane Abrahams

10 Neo-liberal capitalism, African elites and ICT: Challenges and prospects for a
development ethic based on ukama and ubuntu 135
Munyaradzi Felix Murove in conversation with Mthandeni Mkhize

11 The Oikos Journey: Reflections on economy, ecology and Diakonia 151
Andrew E. Warmback with Lunga Khumalo

12 Paying the price for democracy: The contribution of the Church in the development
of good governance in South Africa 171
Simanga. R. Kumalo with Daglous Dziva

13 Ubuntu and women’s health agency in contemporary South Africa 189
Sophia Chirongoma and Domoka Lucinda Manda with Zandile Myeni

14 Challenging stigma in the context of HIV/AIDS: Towards integrating individual and
societal intervention strategies 209
Miranda N. Pillay in conversation with Tania Vergnani

15 Religion, secularism and development: Shortcircuits about HIV/AIDS 223
Govert J. Buijs in conversation with Amon Kasambala

16 An African feminist ethicist evaluation of the patenting of life-forms based on
African plant commons and knowledge 243
Puleng LenkaBula in conversation with Bahlakoana Manyanye

17 Market economic development, local economic experience and the Christian
movement towards alternatives in a South African city region 259
Ignatius Swart with Pieter van Niekerk, Sidwell Thelejane, Albertus Louw, Ngamso
Nzuzo, Johan van der Merwe and André Buitendag

Epilogue 281
Authors 285
The International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) 289
Index 291

Extracts from foreword and introduction
This book contributes to the current dialogue about the ethics of development in our globalised world. It brings to the conversation a range of scholars who represent Christian perspectives on a variety of matters, and who do so with a concern for African concerns and insights to emerge. It does not seek to speak the final or objective word on the matter, but speaks confidently and clearly from our side. Thus it is provisional and subjective. This is its strength, for it stands as a reminder that all reflection on development arises from a certain perspective, and that claims from the North to offer a definitive position are misguided and misleading. It further reminds the reader that it is people in the South, and particularly in Africa, who see development from below, and thus we can ask for a fair hearing when we speak from our side.

The authors have been conscious of at least five important gaps that are important in the dialogue about ethics and development from a Christian perspective.

  1. Between heaven and earth
  2. Between north and south
  3. Between then and now
  4. Between theory and practice
  5. Between structure and identity

Three themes in the book
The book is constructed around three clusters of key development themes.

  • The first theme is identity, culture and gender, which comprises four essays that focus on what it means to be a person or a people in a global world where local identities are under threat through the dominant powers of the world. This section makes the point that development has a very strong social and cultural aspect.
  • The second theme is globalisation, poverty and the market, and we have five essays that explore poverty, ecology and the global economy from a Christian ethical perspective.
  • The third theme is power and the struggle for life, comprising five essays that reflect on issues of power and ethical responsibility in post-colonial politics, and the impact this has upon people’s health and wellbeing. The book is brought to a close with an epilogue written by the editors.

About the editors
Steve de Gruchy is a Professor of Theology and Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Nico Koopman is a Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Sytse Strijbos has lectured philosophy at VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and at the North West University (Potchefstroom campus), and is currently chairman of the International Institute for Development and Ethics (Europe).