Hardly a day goes by without South Africans going on a rampage over the provision of basic municipal services such as water, electricity, sanitation and other municipal obligations. This book connects the critical issue of community protests to the equally precarious issue of political trust in local governance in South Africa by using comparative analysis of grassroots activism in predominantly black communities and predominantly white communities.
Local municipalities in post-apartheid South Africa have become the focal point of community anger over the perceived inadequate provision of basic services. The book demonstrates that the strife against local governance knows no geographic, social, or racial boundaries, occurring in communities of all races across South Africa, though more frequently violent in black communities than white communities.
This book counterbalances the dominant focus on community protests in predominantly black communities. In order to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of community protests in South Africa, the book examines, through a grassroots civic organization-based comparison, the differences between highly fragmented residentsʼ groups that often use intimidation and violence in predominantly black communities, on the one hand, and highly structured ratepayersʼ associations that primarily use the withholding of municipal rates and taxes in predominantly white communities, on the other.
This invaluable contribution also demonstrates the central role of political trust, state-civil society relations, and the dynamics of local governance in community protests. Through a critical, though uplifting tone, the book is of interest to scholars in the social sciences, human geography, public administration, and those concerned with local governance in a post-conflict situation.
Dr. Sethulego Matebesi,
Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of the Free State, South Africa
Download for free: publicity leaflet (pdf)
Target groups: academics in the social sciences, human geography, public administration, and policymakers and activists concerned with, among others, issues of collective action, social movements, local governance, and state-citizen relations on a post-conflict setting