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The Politics of Provinces and the Provincialisation of Politics

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Chapter Summary

The African National Congress (ANC) reluctantly agreed to the establishment of nine provinces in 1994 as part of the negotiated settlement with the outgoing white minority regime. The formation of some provinces was itself a mammoth task of consolidating corrupt and inefficient, former Bantustan, homeland governments into unified new administrations. The future of provinces was, however, first brought prominently in the open by the ANC in the run up to its national conference in Polokwane in December 2007, tasked with the election of its leadership and determining policy. In explaining the lack of success of provinces, the Policy Document suggested that state capacity is unevenly distributed with rural provinces having less effective public institutions. The argument in South Africa that the reasons for the negotiated establishment of the provinces in 1994 are no longer applicable does not make much headway among entrenched provincial elites.

Keywords: African National Congress (ANC); politics of provinces; Polokwane; South Africa



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