REPORT | JUNE 2017

The Mogalakwena Local Municipality in South Africa

This report focuses on the internal institutional dynamics of the troubled Mogalakwena Local Municipality, located in the Waterberg District of Limpopo Province. The report traces in detail how local party-state conflicts are embedded in broader contests within the African National Congress (ANC), and how the resultant factionalism can produce rupture and collapse in the municipal council and administration. It presents substantive evidence from interviews and archival records, showing how political intrusions, lawfare, securitisation and social movement politics have all contributed to rendering the municipality a site of perpetual instability for which there are no obvious remedies.

This research situates local municipalities as key sites in unfolding national politics. Rather than insular entities concerned with parochial issues, local government and its attendant conflicts are inextricably bound up in broader political developments. As such, deeper understandings of the dynamics of local government sheds light on the character of the South African state during the Zuma era.

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