Southern Africa Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PTT) on Corporate Power

Seven communities from Southern Africa presented cases on the impacts of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) on their livelihoods, land and human rights at the Southern Africa Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PTT) on TNCs, which took place in Johannesburg on the 17th and 18th August.
Hibist Kassa, member of DAWN's Executive Comitte, attended this year session, which focused on Land, Food and Agriculture and looked at the impact of corporate abuse on the food system, and especially on women.
One of the sessions presented the case of Pro-Savana, a public partnership in Mozambique that seeks to transform 14 million hectares of land from smallholder production to large scale investment in monocultures, mostly for export food crops. It is a joint project between the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), which provides technical expertise; the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which provides finance; and the Mozambican government, which secures access to land. The organization Justica Ambiental denounced that the project has led to land grabbing and threatens farmers with jail time if they refuse to sign agreements for Pro-Savana.
In another session, Zambian smallholders decried the monopoly and market power exercised by Parmalat, who has been outsourcing its production through contract work and placing greater costs of production on small farmers.
The PPT was hosted by the Southern African Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power. It aimed to expose the detrimental impacts of corporate abuse, including destruction of seed sovereignty, undermining of small-scale farmers by monopoly TNC’s, uranium mining, criminalization of dissent, pollution of water sources and devastation of forests and the livelihoods which they provide to indigenous peoples.