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Title:Squatting and the Politics of Urban Restructuring in Transkei: The Case of Cala
Author:Bank, Leslie J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
Subjects:local politics
informal settlements
municipal government
urban areas
Politics and Government
Urbanization and Migration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:In his analysis of political change in Transkei, South Africa (1992), J. Peires, focusing on the core structures of homeland government, argues that the collapse of the late 1980s can be attributed to the growing 'disjuncture of interests' between the homeland leadership, comprised of the chiefly elite, on the one hand, and the homeland bourgeoisie, on the other. The present author argues that the political transition in the homelands can only be properly addressed by exploring the dynamics of political change at the local level. This paper provides a detailed exploration of political change in a single Transkei town, Cala, situated in the remote district of Xalanga in the northwestern part of the homeland. It first explores the relationship between various civic and political groupings in an attempt to gauge the nature and direction of change at the local level. Then it highlights the lines of tensions between various local interest groups struggling for control of the town and the contradictory nature of the Transkei government's involvement in these struggles. The author places the Cala case in comparative perspective before assessing the validity of Peires' analysis. He concludes with some comments on local government and the question of political reincorporation. Bibliogr., notes, ref.