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Dr Thina Nzo

Senior Researcher

Dr Thina Nzo

Thina holds a PhD in African Studies (University of Edinburgh) and a Masters in Local Government Studies (University of Birmingham). Thina uses an interdisciplinary approach to the study of politics and policy, that is underpinned by her interest in employing qualitative research and organisational ethnography to study local government bureaucracies in South Africa. Such an approach has the potential of significantly contributing to a much needed insight into the complex and multi-dimensional ongoing process of state formation in Africa in general. Her key research interests in local government studies focuses on examining how South African bureaucracies work in practice; the politics of precarity in representative local democracy and its implications of the dialectical relationship between the party and the state from ‘below’; and lastly the conceptualisation of partisan bureaucracies that are permeated by the co-existence of formal and informal practices of governance and the impact that such practices have on the implementation of policies and legislation.



Nzo, T. (2021) ‘Whose Power Is It Anyway? Local Government and the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Emthanjeni Local Municipality in the Northern Cape Province’. A PARI Local Government Report. Johannesburg: Public Affairs Research Institute.

Nzo, T. (2018) ‘Organogram Politics: Building Capacity in a Neo-patrimonial or Partisan Local Government Bureaucracy in South Africa (Paper Accepted for the Journal of African Affairs).

Nzo, T. (2016) ‘ANC Provincial-Regional Politics in the Northern Cape: Corruption or Everyday Informal Practices’. Commonwealth Journal of Local Government, Vol. 4 (2): 96–118.

Qwabe, B., M. Wenhold, P. Mdaka, S. Totwe, M. April, F. Kibirige, P. Dambudzo, and T. Nzo (2010), The State of Local Governance in South Africa from a Citizen Perspective. South Africa, IDASA Media Publishers

Mautjane, B., T.  Nzo, P. van Hoof, G. Giya, and J. Steyn (2009), Traditional Leadership, Democracy and Governance: Insight from the work of Local Government Unit and Governance and Aids Program Idasa. South Africa (online)

Memela, S., B. Mautjane, T. Nzo and P. van Hoof (eds) (2009), The State of Local Governance in South Africa: What Does the Barometer Tell Us. South Africa. IDASA Media Publishers