After Apartheid: Civic Organizations in the ‘New’ South Africa
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One striking change in South African politics since 1990 has been the rise and decline of township-based civic organizations, or ‘civics’. Between 1990 and 1993, civics played an active role in local and even national politics. At the local level, civics were prominent in local government restructuring and development initiatives. At the regional and national levels, the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) was formed in 1992, with hitherto independent civic organizations becoming ‘branches’ of SANCO, although in practice most continued to operate with as much autonomy as before. In 1992–93 SANCO played a high profile role, taking the lead in the negotiated transformation of local government and in initiatives around urban housing and infrastructural development. Since 1993, however, the prominence and influence of both SANCO (as a whole) and individual civics (or SANCO branches) have diminished greatly.
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