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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Civic organisations in South African townships
Author:Seekings, JeremyISNI
Periodical:South African Review - SARS
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:popular participation
Abstract:During the 1980s, 'radical' civic organizations became a familiar feature of the political landscape in South Africa. Originating in the early 1980s, they proliferated during the township revolt of 1984-1986 before falling victim to repression under the national states of emergency. Since 1989, however, civic organizations have occupied a position of unprecedented importance, which primarily results from the State's search for credible township representatives to deal with. This article examines current and past strengths and weaknesses inherent in the 'radical' civic organizations in the light of their potential future role. After a first historical section, the article describes leadership and organization, support, and regional and national coordination of civic organizations since their revival from mid-1989. Next, their role in transitional South Africa is dealt with. The space for civics to perform either a legitimate mediating role or a watchdog role will surely diminish in a democratic South Africa. Their only space will be to operate as loyal opponents in a local one-party system. Note, ref.