eThekwini ECOPEACE - Management & Leadership - STRUCTURE

Values Statement - April 2003
"A true revolutionary is motivated by love . . ."

To become grounded in trust and friendship, we will work together with commitment to our shared values of honesty, respect, tolerance, empathy, understanding, sharing and supportive cooperation - in order to effectively improve the lot of all people, to bring about change, inspire and create awareness.

We treasure harmony and balance, being centred, strong, reasonable and forgiving. Anchored in actively helping, doing good, working hard and learning. We have to transform ourselves to transform the world. An open minded unbiased attitude is necessary to give people the opportunities to express their differences in an atmosphere of acceptance, to reflect and critique positively and to learn to rise to the challenges a life of darkness and light, pain and joy brings to us all.

As a public organisation eThekwini ECOPEACE must always act in an ethical open transparent manner, with the highest integrity and accountability. Our meetings are open to public scrutiny; we are always accessible and approachable and will respond to constructive input. Members are asked to remain loyal to principles, but urged to act within the ambit of mandates. They must take responsibility for their own initiatives.

Global apartheid, i.e. unbalanced technological advances driven by unfettered economic exploitation and desires for military superiority have caused the present environmental, social and financial problems the whole world faces. These problems are of a political nature and require political solutions:

Political education and determination are required to create capacity for a new inclusive participatory democracy to replace the existing elitist hierarchical representative system.

Then we can attain lasting peace through; Guarantees of freedom, justice and equality; A sustainable economic, ecological and social balance, and; True, holistic development, security and stability.

Ethics Statement - June 2003
Everyone has a responsibility to protect the rights of all human beings and a responsibility to following generations for the care of the Earth.

We are all therefore obliged to increase our knowledge in order to exercise choices that are environmentally friendly and people centred.

It is our duty to act in an ethical and thoughtful manner.

We therefore urge everyone to consider the possible inhumane consequences of eating meat or using other animal products.

We support the following legal amendments: Recognise the intrinsic rights of animals, plants, ecosystems and natural materials. Allow all ecosystems to evolve naturally, provided that any ecological, social and economically sustainable development must promote biodiversity. Animals must be protected from human abuse. Animal use must be ecologically sustainable and of benefit to society. Such use of any animal must not involve any (undue) harm to that animal. No one should abuse any being, species, ecosystem or natural materials. Any adversely effected beings, species, ecosystems and natural resources must undergo redress and reversal of any such harm, neglect or exploitation.

Purpose Statement - August 2004
For the economic, ecological, social and political needs of everyone, eThekwini ECOPEACE strives to:

1. Promote Peace (pro-active anti-violence): Economic and political inequalities contribute to violence against people and environments. Prevent war by promoting Equality, Freedom and Justice.
2. Unite and empower the whole population through Participatory Democracy, Consensus decision-making, Political Education and Empowerment. Inspire ourselves and others to come up with alternative solutions and choices; through Personal Sovereignty, Integrity and Ethics we should recognize that we are all part of the solution.
3. Promote holistic Ecological, Economic and Social Sustainability.
4. Be Policy-Based with rational and logical consistency. Individual members may have various opinions; however, official policies need to confirm to scientific and traditional knowledge principles.
5. Contest elections. Work strategically; use tactics without undermining principles to be a mass based political party, and to be a party of the international eco-social movement. Use parliamentary opportunities to achieve the aims of ECOPEACE. Use all other opportunities to promote ECOPEACE.
6. Apply Political Pressure to make industry clean and accountable. Encourage people to engage with business, to practice fair trade free from exploitation.
7. Network with similar organisations, form alliances and coalitions and strengthen the Eco-Social movement. Mobilise support and empower other groups to also take our programs forward.
8. Explain and share our Values. Raise consciousness and educate people about Eco-Social issues - these include both people and the environment. Some issues include violence, crime, poverty/inequality, health, HIV/AIDS, Genetic Engineering, fluoride, Nuclear Energy and pollution. Promote Zero Waste - reduce / reuse / recycle. Promote the growing of and access to organic food. Growing organic food and muthi plants is a means to poverty eradication and good nutrition - helping to ensure good primary health care. Lead by example – ‘practise what we preach’.
9. Share resources and information supporting appropriate sustainable projects to fight poverty, build unity, solidarity, a sense of community, common purpose, common goals and a strong commitment to eco-principles through self-help and self-actualisation, encourage initiative and improvement, heal protect and strengthen people and their environments, grow indigenous plants, develop permaculture, care and make a difference, a revolution, radical politics, liberation, show viable alternatives for non-competitive personal growth, development and enlightenment, solve problems, be righteous, create harmony, be good parents, a better world is possible, find opportunities, nothing is impossible to work out, there are always alternatives. Work together, not against each other in a spirit of love caring and understanding. Fulfil obligations to discipline accountability and work – follow through. Talk, converse, discuss, communicate; voice problems, in order to be helped. Respect each other, work together collectively with one purpose, being mutually supportive, involved, cooperate, and work-oriented. Develop practice (praxis). Stand together - Ubumbano.

Vision Statement - April 2003
We are part of a global green movement that seeks to secure ecological and economic sustainability through participatory democracy and by protecting human rights.
Political change in South Africa can occur through the will of sufficient players. We will pursue relationships both within formal politics and within the broader communities, with groups or individuals who share our main objectives:

1. To stop GEAR (the so-called “growth, employment and reconstruction” program) - the government’s economic policy of privatisation and foreign investment through mega-projects has failed to create jobs and has not alleviated poverty.
2. To restart the RDP (reconstruction and development program) – although the RDP had flaws, development of community sized sustainable projects is exactly what South Africa needs. Unfortunately the government abandoned this worthwhile project.
3. To stop the Arms deal and militarist budget - irrespective of who in the government may or may not be guilty of corruption, South Africa faces no external military threat so it is immoral to waste billions of Rands that can be used to save lives threatened with HIV/AIDS and to fight crime.
Collectively voicing these principles, which are shared by the vast majority, will continue to pressure the government and its alliances to progress towards the equality, prosperity and peace promised by our new democracy.

Inevitable realignment of political groupings will accelerate this process. It is possible to gain the largest number of votes, but whatever happens it is important to honestly promote the peoples cause. Numerical superiority is not the only path to accomplish our aims - majority interests can be advanced by holding a balance of power:

When the larger groups do not hold a clear majority, the other parties can hold their power in check.

Political Position - April 1996
Life is a fragile interdependent network yet our consumerist society damages itself and the world around it. Planning and intervention are necessary to balance the finite resources of ecology and society. But political, economic and industrial powers are the greatest obstacles to the healing of environmental and social deterioration. The barriers of alienating ideologies must be countered. Racial, national, economic and political divisions - and competition for power and position are impractical, destructive and detrimental to our society and environment.

Irrational beliefs and infighting amongst allies prevent us from fully nurturing our ecosystems. The political arena is a scene of divisions and exploitation. We call for participatory democracy and proportional representation. Other eco friendly people’s parties may then help us assure important governmental and ministerial positions and influence.

Our aim is a healthy, sustainable, equal society with an economy in ecological limits. Small support for specific issues should not deter us from consciousness raising, creating public interest and overall awareness. Encourage healthy debate and cooperation, not conflict. Public relation strategies of principle and ethics, empathy and experience support an intelligent discourse of policies and enhance campaign tactics.

Specists work in an authoritarian manner, develop superior attitudes, and form groups to protect each other, and take advantage of their position merely to gain privilege and amenities for themselves. Their state of mind is revealed in conduct. Specists insist upon the need for organisation and authority. Every army and every industry in the world is run on the basis of a chain of command from the top downwards. Those in a higher grade in the hierarchy have a more comfortable standard of life than below since it adds prestige to authority.

Forget your systems, forget your ideologies, forget your power, and let us be concerned with human suffering, human needs, food, clothing and shelter.

Mission Statement - March 2001
To heal the Earth, we must make ethical decisions together through a decentralised, non-hierarchical system - that requires revolutionary changes in political power sharing. We cannot afford to be mere spectators - the party political contest must be transformed.

ECOPEACE members:
1. Accept the radical interrelationship of all matters.
2. Work with diverse groups to attain common goals.
. Work collectively.
4. Act accountably.
5. Do not dictate personal lifestyle commitments.
6. Seek consensus and nurture debate.
7. Pursue a range of methods to achieve their visions.
8. Promote participatory democracy.
9. Challenge the ‘representational’ system.
10. Maintain hope for a life-sustaining planet.

Public Relations Procedures - August 1995
Eco-Social Awareness is an ethical theory and practice involving an evolution of consciousness, the highest culmination of politics; it is a combination of art, gender, science, ecology, education, and social issues in a unified culture. Do not be concerned only with your own immediate problems and ideologies, by placing being as the basis, intelligent appreciation of life is valued. There is no goal, design or purpose necessary other than to express our own being. Political argument is made accessible by avoiding dreary cliché, conventional superficiality and stupid black and white morality.

Anticipate petty, irrelevant yet vehement attack, which is evasive and passive aggressive. The appropriate counter is non aggressive assertiveness and confidence. Transform your consciousness to have a different kind of education, a different kind of society. Change the content of your consciousness so that in that transformation you affect the consciousness of humanity. In that freedom to transform, you have tremendous energy, which is the essence of intelligence, and that awareness can operate in every field of the total human existence.

Advance the views of:
1. Ethical human nature
2. Attainable equality of fortunes
3. Impermanency of war
4. Remediability of poverty and thus
5. The removal of unnecessary government, obedience, or resignation.

Govern from the heart. Diminish restrictions. Serve people in difficult things, and in easy things. Serve people in great things, and in small things.

Create public opinion to change the outlook of society. Provide encouragement and leadership. Arouse and trust people, win over the middle and unite with the majority to develop mass awareness. Put people friendly Eco-politics in command. Foster discussions, oppose elitism, and invite debate and action from all.

Do not incite members against each other - they can reach unanimity. Protect minorities; debate must be conducted by reasoning not coercion or force. Every member is good at thinking things out for themselves. THINK SPEAK ACT

Learn and teach, don't be one sided or narrow. Eco-Social politics should be combined with insight, meditation, therapy, and productivity, to develop ethically, intellectually and physically. Learn appropriate technologies, permaculture, and healing arts - promote environmental literature and art. Awaken and nourish Eco-Social Awareness, cultivate it in city and countryside, this will help all communities to grow prosperous safe and healthy. Challenge any idea counterpoising Eco-Social Awareness. Criticize specism, specist ideology, and exploitation. Criticize specist views in philosophy, history, political economy, education, literature, art, science and other fields. Resistance comes from entrenched, out of touch authorities - it also comes from habits.

Challenge those who dominate, expose refute castigate and discredit specists, neutralize their influence, they should turn over a new leaf. Distinguish between specists, and people with ordinary ideas. Help technicians and scientists transform their outlook.

Strategic Program of Actions and Tactics
2005 - 2008
Get elected - national & provincial 2008
Get more ECOPEACE councillors elected - local 2005/6
Create a pact/relationship with other anti-GEAR, pro-RDP, anti-militarization groups/parties.
Be part of the New Social Movement.
Be seen as part of a Global Green Movement.
Start ECOPEACE campus groups - give talks, etc.
Working in local communities - Funding - Highlight some key projects
Public Forums: e.g. Bluff. Manor Gardens, Umlazi, KwaMashu, Ntshongweni, Chatsworth, Mount Vernon, etc. - Identify election candidates for all 100 wards.
Support the formation of local ECOPEACE action groups.
Develop Relationships with Trade Unions.
Strengthen networking and affiliation - e.g. MSF, SAFeAGE, GREEN, SDCEA, Recycling Forum, Composting Forum, CEASEFIRE, EJNF, eThekwini Social Forum, Concerned Citizens, Palestine Support Committee, Centre for Civil Society, Landless Peoples Movement, Anti-Privatisation Forum, Jubilee SA, Black Sash, WESSA, TimberWatch, BotGardens, EJM, GreenPeace, Global Greens - subscribe to the journals of these groups and utilise their media for advertising.

Motions to Council
Nuke-free eThekwini. Promote alternate transport. Water Demand Management. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Redesign - Zero Waste. Local Environmental Advisory Forum (LEAF).
Organisational Development
Develop conflict resolution skills and team building.
Print debit order forms - also website donations.
Print clothes stickers buttons merchandise (eco-goods).
Campaign and recruit members/supporters.
Media priorities - posters, pamphlets, membership cards, website, etc.
Translate all ECOPEACE media into isiZulu.
Use Public Forums & Network in local areas.
Target disillusioned party members and ex mps.
Encourage those with election ennui to register and vote for us.
Encourage commissioning of GDTV community stations. Use local radio and phone-ins.
Adverts, articles - local press, e.g. Grapevine.
Letter campaigns to editors.
Media/News Release - workshops.
Web - keep up to date with e-media developments.
Raise positive awareness - e.g. ethical examples - living wage.
Simple, easy, practical examples of sustainable, harmonious living.
A working example of how genuine people can make meaningful changes.

Recruitment Procedures - August 2004
It is necessary to explain the aims, purpose, vision and program of eThekwini ECOPEACE when recruiting new members and supporters.

Members of good standing may collect details of new supporters.

Ordinary Members
Membership Application forms must be signed by applicant members. The Coordinator will countersign the Membership agreement to indicate acceptance of the new member, if there are no significant objections. New members will receive an information package. Members must join at least one of the eThekwini ECOPEACE structures.

Executive Collective Members
To become a member of the Executive Collective, an ordinary member of good standing must undergo a specific induction program or interview, submit a vision statement, and then sign an Executive Collective members’ agreement. The Coordinator will countersign the agreement to indicate acceptance of the new Executive Collective member, if there are no significant objections.

Election Candidates
To become an Election Candidate, any ordinary member of good standing must undergo a specific induction program or interview, submit a vision statement, and then sign an Election Candidate’s agreement. The Coordinator will countersign the agreement to indicate acceptance of the new Election Candidate, if there are no significant objections. Election Candidates will also be required to sign a contract, affidavit &/or other documents.

All Members (Ordinary, Executive Collective, Portfolio or Election Candidate) are subject to disciplinary procedures if and when necessary.

Structure: Groups & Committees - September 2004
Each Team, Group or Committee must:

1. Be open to all members;
2. Have at least one member to report at Coordination meetings;
3. Take minutes and write reports;
4. Formulate and submit budget proposals and records of accounts;
5. Have copies on hand of all ECOPEACE policy and procedure documents.

Executive Collective
Develop Procedures and Policy - Lead and Manage – Coordinate Activities – Network: Conduct environmental scans of NGOs, CBOs and political groups.
Treasury – Develop Finance Policy – Budget – Raise funds.
Ward Collectives
Campus Groups


Campaign Team
Encourage and facilitate public participation (education forums) - Organise concerts. Support protests and direct action. Gain votes for elections. Recruit new members.
Marketing Team
Posters - Web-site. Advertise to create awareness - Provincial local papers, WESSA newsletter, internet. Workshops - profiling and news release. Citizens advise bureaus. Create Merchandise.

Hold workshops for organisational development, leadership, consensus, facilitation, conflict resolution skills, and team building.
Member Project Teams

1. Use community facilities, school grounds, vacant inner city land etc., for skills development, adult education. Also, pensioner, homeless ‘street’ children and AIDS orphan support. Real correctional services, community service and training. Expansion of D’MOSS system. Plant fruit trees on road barriers. LETS programmes. Ban on pesticides in Unicity. Reduce - Reuse - Recycle - Zero Waste.
2. Transformation of WESSA environmental education facilities at Treasure Beach. Initiate a plan of action with KZN-CEC. Change building regulations / bylaws.


1. Meet twice a month. Network for collaboration and co-operation - expand ‘Other Parties’.
2. Training - study council and IEC rules to adequately advise and assist. Develop Council resolutions around identified Issues. (Pollution regulations - Community against crime - Food labelling - GE ban - Nuclear free Durban - Pension system - Cell towers etc.)

Fundraising Procedure - April 2003
No "green-wash" funding will be accepted. Donors are not immune from our criticisms if and when deserved. Donors cannot buy influence over ECOPEACE policy and decisions. Donors will be asked to sign indemnity for the above.

Prerequisites for fundraising are a ratified detailed budget and web-site update so potential donors can have access to all relevant ECOPEACE policies, minutes and other documents.

Potential fundraisers must submit proposals and itineraries to receive a mandate from ECOPEACE.

Fundraisers may budget for a 5% commission to cover approved costs, and to make up a living wage. This is on the proviso that this budget must include capacity building and also be shared amongst members for their living wage requirements.

Fundraising is only one of our activities and it will not take any precedence over other concerns. Therefore whenever possible other "volunteers" should also receive a living wage allowance or at least have costs covered. This is especially important for members who are poor and unemployed.

Member-Project Procedures - August 2004

1. The project must benefit ECOPEACE members - in the broadest possible sense.
2. The application must show how to measure the benefit. Specify goals, feasibility, target dates and budgets - submit quotes. Records must be kept.
3. Follow-up support will not be considered without showing previous benefits.
4. Individually run entrepreneurial projects must also benefit members.
5. Projects must be sustainable.
6. Projects should have a multiplier (knock-on) effect.
7. Priority will be given to projects that involve women, youth, the elderly and disabled, e.g. those projects that make provisions to include crèches, opportunity for breast feeding, specially designated tasks for disabled, homeless-children, orphans and older people still able to make a contribution. Thought should be given to protecting workers against injury and to provide first aid in the event of injuries being sustained.
8. Priority may be given to those projects that satisfy more of the criteria than others.
9. We do not support projects outside KwaZulu Natal. Preference will be given to projects in eThekwini Municipality.
10. Not all projects can be supported. Projects that qualify might not receive all of the requested support. Support may be training, equipment or of some other kind. You may be asked to resubmit a proposal.
11. Salaries, transport, telephone bills and office rent will not be subsidised.
12. Preference will be given to projects that promote ECOPEACE programs.
13. Any monetary request must show that alternate funding or financing sources have been approached. Priority will be given to non-monetary requests.
14. Some examples of sustainable projects are: Urban Greening; Permaculture; Reduce / Reuse / Recycle (Zero Waste); Renewable Energy; Sustainable Building; Environmental Education.


1. Prioritise small, simple decentralised projects that are easy to assess.
2. Support disadvantaged communities and groups to ensure that applications are received from disadvantaged districts.
3. It is essential that we remain flexible in our approach to diverse projects. Encourage diversity, competition, creativity and even risk taking - these qualities characterise a successful enterprise. Encourage competitive applications from cooperatives, and small local enterprises. Do not require all projects to be the same. Local communities themselves can identify plan and implement the projects they find most helpful. Base the projects on needs that are still to be filled within the community and within an individual’s own hierarchy of needs. Then a higher level of motivation and productivity is more likely to be achieved. This may require careful planning, skilled management, ongoing training and regular evaluation. By focussing projects directly on those basic needs perceived by the community as most necessary, the programme directly attacks poverty in that community.
4. Let the project participants feel the benefits of their endeavours wherever possible. Where an individual involved in a project is not merely a worker, but also a direct beneficiary, the meaning of his/her work is greatly enhanced and thus productivity is likely to be higher.
5. Where private interests can benefit from project support this should be allowed, provided there are guarantees that such relationships are not exploitative. Where a project assists private individuals or specific households, they as beneficiaries should be expected to contribute by, for example, repaying a loan covering their portion of the cost. Consider for example a situation where a farmer would like a small water conservation dam constructed on his lands, there would be advantages in sponsored labour-based programs undertaking the work, provided that the costs of the dam were regarded as a loan to the farmer, with the expectation that it would be repaid. In the long run this type of participation could be of considerable value to all.
6. Encourage people to build the infrastructure to meet their own basic needs through their own efforts. That community then has greater capacity for future self-reliance after project support decreases.
7. Link support to clear measurable objectives and budgets set by the recipient communities themselves.
8. Allocate support (funding or kind e.g. LETS), equipment, training or other types in a step-by-step manner as certain criteria are fulfilled. Be proactive, work together with the community, but be ready to initiate projects if necessary. Consider the ‘return on investment’ don’t simply give dependency creating hand outs.
9. Link further support to previous performance.

Monitoring & Evaluation

1. Accountability must be maintained by; regular report-backs, on-site evaluation, monitoring and assessment. Weaknesses of projects must be examined and addressed.
2. Review and develop policy; application appraisal, resource allocation, training, financing, funding reporting and monitoring. Update plans and schedules - appraisal, planning, funding, implementation and review cycles should ensure a reciprocal synergistic relationship.
3. Standardise project-support to be able to compare competitive bids for resources. Standardise formats for applications but encourage creativity and innovation.
4. Gradually develop institutional and individual capacity for sustained development. This would be achieved through integrating work, education and training for self-empowerment:

Training, education & organisation resource development
Develop functional literacy and numeracy, individual basic skills and training - Link formal, primary, secondary, tertiary education with informal adult education. Encourage self and external evaluation.

Organisational development - projects should undertake cost-efficient physical, organisational and human development programmes identified by local communities as being of high priority. Projects should seek to create vital/strategic infrastructural public assets. Sequential projects to develop capacity in various skills gradually should work continuously to avoid unnecessary start-up costs and to maximise the use of organisational structures created. Encourage participative management building good human relations through supervisory skills training. Organise fundraising and other OD courses. Support in kind through videos, media, business cards etc.

Finance & Administration
Development & implementation of application procedures - Disbursement of funds - Auditing

Technical Support
Physical planning - Engineering services - Project management

Food-for-work Stamp Programme - Micro loans - Cultural activities - Political education - roads - water supply - small dams - small scale irrigation - woodlots - soil & water conservation - protection of watersheds and wetlands - fencing & hedgerows - ecological conservation.

Transport Subsidy Procedures - August 2004

1. Transport costs of Portfolio holders and other members mandated by the Executive Collective, or the Coordinator acting on its behalf, to attend certain ECOPEACE and other meetings and events, or in order to effect the proper work of eThekwini ECOPEACE, may be subsidised.
2. Mandated vehicle use may be covered at AA rates or at some other negotiated rate. Otherwise public transport rates (e.g. taxi, bus, train) will apply.

In order to address required attendance at eThekwini ECOPEACE workshops or events:
3. Subsidies will be awarded only for those eThekwini ECOPEACE members of good standing whose finances cannot cover attendance.
4. Only prompt and appropriate periods of attendance will be accepted.
5. Only travel within eThekwini Municipality between applicants’ residence and venues will be covered.
6. Total subsidies must be maintained within specific transport budget constraints.

At the discretion of eThekwini ECOPEACE Executive Collective or the Coordinator acting on its behalf:
7. Any claim may be changed or rejected if it does not confirm to the above criteria, or
8. Claims may be extended either to include applicant members, supporters or others invited to attend certain functions workshops or meetings, or to include certain travelling outside of the eThekwini Municipality.

Transport cost for voluntary attendance at (protests, public forums, committee- and group-, Political Caucus-, Coordination-, Synergy-, Members- and Open- Meetings) will not necessarily be subsidised.

Councillor Career Commitment Criteria - September 2004
ECOPEACE has a vision of full employment with every worker receiving no less than a living wage, in an ecologically sustainable economy. It is also our view that politicians should be considered as workers, their job being to promote their constituency through terms specified in a public manifesto-contract.

Within eThekwini ECOPEACE, each voluntary Councillor must decide whether they wish to commit to serving a full term or multiple terms. If their individual choice is to not serve a full term, then they may be required to propose a replacement. However, proper consensus procedure to select a new councillor will be followed.

Voluntary appointed Councillors have an unlimited term of office. Consensus selected Councillors have a twelve month term, whereupon their performance will be evaluated on previously established criteria. Should their performance be adequate, their term of office will be renewed for a further twelve months. Otherwise a consensus selection process will be initiated to find a replacement Councillor.

Since ECOPEACE Councillors receive only a living wage allowance and are required to forgo the option of floor-crossing it is prejudicial and derogatory to talk of them as “careerist” politicians when they commit to serve ECOPEACE on a permanent basis. ECOPEACE recognises the invaluable and irreplaceable experience gained from such commitment and is obliged to reciprocate by guaranteeing those positions on the party lists; locally provincially and nationally. To do otherwise is tantamount to worker exploitation and cannot be condoned.

Consensus Decision Making - September 2004
The Coordinator as the CEO is obliged to implement rules, regulations and procedures according to the constitution and ethos of eThekwini ECOPEACE. The Coordinator is assisted severally or jointly by the portfolio holders. The Coordinator may discuss any matters relating to the administration of eThekwini ECOPEACE with the portfolio holders before bringing an issue to the Executive Collective. The Coordinator may also call a Members Meeting.

Members Meetings begin with the Coordinator’s Report explaining the purpose of the meeting. She/he will state the facts involved and commence discussions. Portfolio holders will develop the debate and will be followed by other Executive Collective members. Then any other eThekwini ECOPEACE members of good standing wishing to speak or ask questions may do so. These deliberations continue until consensus is reached.

Consensus may be compared to a legal process; if one is correct due to principle then one’s position is validated no matter if it is not supported by a majority vote. There is no voting needed, or even allowed, in the consensus decision-making process; a consensus decision could be, but does not necessarily imply unanimity – it is more like ‘nem-con’, i.e. no serious or valid objections. All concerns are addressed, by amendments if necessary, or the person agrees to stand aside (similar to abstention) but the concerns are noted. This is a solution seeking process to find win/win yes/and results rather than either/or win/lose or lose/lose ones. A valid objection based on agreed principles can be viewed as a qualified veto that every member of good standing holds. A valid objection blocks a motion until a proper solution based on principle is found.

Matters are debated until consensus is reached; decisions so reached are more acceptable. Otherwise, the Coordinator’s duty is to assess all opinions and viewpoints on disputed issues and serve as the ultimate judge or final authority, only when it is necessary to act timeously in the best interests of eThekwini ECOPEACE, or to avert a crisis - "Crisis is the loss of management control resulting in an actual or potential threat to a company's long term ability to do business, due to the impact on the operability, image, reputation and liabilities of the company".

In a consensus process minority positions are heard and taken into account. In a majority rule process the minority position is ignored. Consensus may take time to reach a decision, but once reached, there is unity of purpose since all participated in the decision making process. Consensus is the antithesis of autocracy. One cannot impose one's will in a system that is structured to reach decisions by consensus. Despotism does not inhere in consensus. Freedom of expression is an important element, anyone even non-members may express their views. Sensible proposals or ideas may be applauded, and inappropriate ones opposed. Variance in opinion is expressed, with due respect to the Co-ordinator; the collective survival of eThekwini ECOPEACE is at stake.

The Coordinator's responsibility is to ensure that consensus decisions are implemented. She/he consequently has authority to sign documents and take actions on behalf of eThekwini ECOPEACE in all matters arising out of those legitimate decisions.

Establish a need, motivate, present a proposal, brainstorm additions, note concerns and/or objections, discuss, adapt – then either adopt, reject or postpone.
ECOPEACE members must cooperate strategically. Stimulate conversation, exchange ideas and network around various themes:

1. Solidarity (unity of purpose) – Voluntary activism creates cooperative mutual aid or a reciprocal gift relationship. [Paid work depends on appropriate funding.]
2. Region (physical location) – create and foster multiple local cooperative solidarities.
3. Class/sector (objective social location) – e.g. peasant, worker, self-employed, unemployed, youth, gay woman immigrant etc. Break down barriers.
4. Identity (subjective self-understanding) – e.g. environmentalist, socialist, human rights activist etc. See the unifying potential in the multiple aspects of diverse struggles.
5. Enemies - the policy, institution or process being combated.

If you do not want what I want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. Or if my beliefs are different from yours at least pause, before you set out to correct them. Or if my emotion seems less or more intense than yours, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel other than I do. Or if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, please let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up trying to change me into a copy of you. If you allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself to the possibility that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear as right – for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And one day perhaps, in trying to understand me, you might come to prize my differences, and far from seeking to change me, might preserve and even cherish those differences. I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, your colleague. But whatever our relation, this I know: You and I are fundamentally different and both of us have to march to our own drummer.

Ground Rules
LISTEN with respect, participate and share responsibilities. Don’t repeat, silence = assent. Share feelings and speak for yourself. No interruptions one at a time, no 2nd chance to speak until everyone has 1st chance - rotate - take turns. No personal attacks, blaming, accusations, innuendos. Raise hand for; right of reply, direct response, point of order, relevance, clarity, vibes or time. No bogging, no hogging, no leapfrogging. Agree to disagree, constructive input – No negativity, SEEK SOLUTIONS.

Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

Always Do Your Best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Life moves towards the fulfilment of its own freedom, to plurality, diversity, independence, self-constitution and self-organisation. However, humans have inevitably used frames of mind, types of societies, and systems of production, that contradict life. We are expected to work within those systems, affirm society's values, and adopt those same frames of mind that allow the system to work within us. Our intuition and our senses tell us that this is fundamentally flawed, that we can, and must do something about it. We can change the rules of the game.

In an on-going process, we can develop the commitment, understanding, and a network of relationships, to create or transform systems to serve Life, and operate in life-affirming ways. We do this when we:
* Support each other to live authentically. To reflect and question ourselves, in order to connect with our personal values, intuition and intent, to do what matters, and live in truth.
* Learn collaboratively. We come together in our diversity to learn to understand the underlying patterns behind our challenges, and how we can effect change at a deeper, more systemic level.
* Act together for change. We join our skills and resources in cooperation to enact new pattern-changing ideas, from wherever we each are located.
Our philosophy is evolving as together we learn new actions rooted in new thinking. Be your authentic self, do what matters, start now, and never stop asking questions!

Participatory Democracy
eThekwini ECOPEACE advocates participatory democracy as a parallel alternative to complement the representative system currently employed in our parliaments. Participatory democracy is open and inclusive, unlike the representational system. No one should be excluded from the country’s decision making processes. One should not have to belong to a political party to participate in the process. Even youth and non-citizens must be included. People must express their views freely, this is vital for consensus to be reached.

Larger government entities should be devolved under confederacy by extension of governance authority to local levels. Then local communities can enjoy substantial autonomy to run their own affairs. Decentralise governance by delegating authority and responsibilities to local entities and by instituting a system of checks and balances. Even the Zulu king could make no decisions of importance without the ibandla, the highest council. The Swazi king was checked by the Liqoqo (inner council) and the Libandla (general council).

Consensus Meeting Rules - August 2004
All Meetings must be conducted as set out below. Emphasise finding holistic solutions with opportunity for full discussion and participation. Avoid patriarchal control of debate. Use consensus decision-making processes to avoid marginal decisions that can lead to substantial disagreement. In cases not provided, the Meeting may formulate procedure.

Accept the Agenda to start a Meeting.

1.1 All motions must be tabled.
1.2 Only reopen discussion of an accepted motion, after first accepting a motion to “reopen discussion.”
1.3 Once a motion has been accepted, a motion of rescission or a motion amending it can only be tabled after first accepting a motion to “reopen discussion” as in 1.2.
1.4 A rejected, withdrawn or lapsed motion can only be proposed again after first accepting a motion to “reopen discussion” as in 1.2.
Do not repeat previous discussion.

2.1 All amendments must be tabled.
2.2 A motion may be amended by; removing words, inserting words, removing certain words and substituting other words, adding words, removing all the words and substituting other words dealing with the same subject.
2.3 Proposed amendments may also be amended, in the same manner as a motion.
2.4 Propose the order amendments will be decided upon. Deal with all amendments before deciding on the motion.
2.5 An amendment that has been accepted or rejected may again be tabled after a consensus decision to do so.
2.6 If any amendments have been accepted, the amended motion is decided upon.
2.7 If all amendments have been rejected, the original motion is decided upon.

3.1 Reports are to be drawn up as a recounting of events and explanations of events. All recommendations and opinions must be appended separately. Before a report is given, first it must be proposed; "that the report is tabled". The report will then be open to discussion if:
3.1.1 No amendments are made in the text of the report.
Only those portions of the report that do not fall under another heading on the agenda are discussed.

3.2 If a report contains recommendations, those recommendations must be decided upon.

4.1 Participants may speak in turn to a motion or amendment or a report or upon a question of order arising in the debate. Questions may be asked and information given in respect of any matter relevant to the meeting. No other discussion or distraction can be allowed.
4.2 The proposer of a motion may introduce the motion and reply to the debate thereon. After her/his reply no other participant may speak to the motion.
4.3 Any participant should speak for no more than a total of five minutes on any motion or amendment.
4.4 No participant may speak to a motion or amendment after it is to be decided upon.
4.5 If "Equalisation of debate" is proposed it must be decided upon immediately, without debate. If accepted each speaker is listed as for or against the motion or amendment then tabled. Each alternatively in favour or against the motion or amendment speaks. If the next speaker agrees with the previous one, they lose their turn to speak, to a speaker of the opposite view. Should no such speaker be found, debate will then be closed. A speaker in favour of standing aside (abstention) is regarded as against the motion in this case.
4.6 The Meeting must deal immediately with any question of order that may arise in debate.
4.7 The Meeting must maintain debate and rule out of order any matter not pertaining to the Meeting. A participant may by motion, object to any ruling by the Meeting.
4.8 A participant may at any stage of the debate, except when an amendment is tabled (but after an amendment has been decided upon, and the original or amended motion is tabled for a final decision), propose that "the motion be withdrawn". Such withdrawal must be debated immediately, and no further amendment to the original motion can then be tabled. After that debate the withdrawal is decided upon:
If the withdrawal is accepted, then the original motion is withdrawn without being decided upon. If the withdrawal is rejected, then the original or amended motion is immediately decided upon without further discussion or amendment.

4.9 Debate is superseded by:
4.9.1 A motion that "the Meeting debates the item at another time".
4.9.2 A motion calling for “closure of debate”.
4.9.3 A motion, “that the Meeting does now close".
4.9.4 A motion of “no confidence in the Meeting.”
Any of the above four motions must be decided upon without discussion.

4.10 The Meeting must immediately adjourn if a participant calls attention that a quorum is not present.

5. The Meeting may ask a participant who wilfully disturbs orderly conduct to leave and/or offer a satisfactory apology. The Meeting must deal with any breach of harmony.

Accurate minutes kept of every Meeting must contain:
6.1 The names of the participants present and anyone who gave prior apologies.
6.2 The full text of any resolutions decided by consensus.
6.3 If requested by a participant, note that s/he supported, supported with reservations, stood aside, objected but stood aside, or blocked a motion and her/his reasons.
6.4 Summaries of debates only when necessary for clarity.
6.5 Any decisions made at the discretion of the Meeting.
6.6 Explanations of procedure when necessary for clarity.

7. If consensus is not reached on a motion, it consequently falls away.

8. Any person present who has a right to take part.

This document is open to constructive input - your views are important.