Hegemony, Democracy and Civil Society: Political Participation in Kwazakele Township, 1980–93

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


One of the problems with much of the research conducted on political or civic organizations in South Africa is that neither the majority of supporters nor members of such organizations, nor those who may not have supported them, are consulted. It is thus difficult to ascertain the truth of leadership’s claims to be representative, to have majority support for certain actions, or to practise ‘direct democracy’ through grassroots organizational structures. In an attempt to redress this imbalance, this chapter assesses the participation in, and understanding of, grassroots structures by ordinary residents, as well as the motivation underlying such participation. This is done through a case study of residents in Kwazakele township, outside Port Elizabeth, (see Methodological note at the end of this Chapter.)


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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