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Patronage Politics Divides Us

A Study of Poverty, Patronage and Inequality in South Africa


Patronage Politics Divides Us: A Study of Poverty, Patronage and Inequality in South Africa explores the relationship between patronage, poverty, and inequality with a particular focus on its impact on the conduct of local politics. The overall aim of the study was to explore the possibility of constituting public institutions in a manner that enables them to become legitimate arbiters between the various interests, rather than as instruments that are captured by contending interest groups for their own accumulation. Most importantly, this study was necessitated by the realisation that post-apartheid patronage politics has not received sufficient scholarly attention. This research study aims to help fill that gap, especially by contributing empirical research to the subject. The report goes beyond answering the primary questions of the study: it is a profile of socio economic life in South Africa’s various communities as experienced not only by locals, but also by foreign-born residents. The findings provide a window on relationships between councillors, business interests, and local party organisations.

ISBN 9781920655808 | 144 pages | 229 x 152mm | 2013 | Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA), South Africa | Paperback




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