SOCIAL CAPITAL AND THE IMPERATIVES OF THE CONCEPT AND LIFE OF UBUNTU IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT

Henry Mbaya

Abstract



In this article, I argue that an interface exists between the Western concept of social capital
and the African concept and the way of life traditionally known as Ubuntu. Social capital
generates values of co-operation and collaboration which appear to be consonant with the
spirit of Ubuntu, a concept and way of life which characterize hospitality or generosity as
the core values of African communality. I highlight that both concepts differ in that while
social capital can be quantified Ubuntu cannot. I also show that negative consequences
may emanate from the application of the concepts and their possibilities of being
manipulated for selfish means in promoting the interests of the minorities at the expense of
the majority. However, I suggest that the appropriation of both could enhance the capacity
of communities to deal with anti-social issues such as crime.

Keywords


Community, Ubuntu, Social Capital, Partnerships, Participation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/104-0-177

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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