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‘Bringing Government Closer to the People’? The Daily Experience of Sub-councils in Cape Town

Article image

Chloé Buire

22 September 2011


Township Studies Librarian Two

Journal article

Township Studies Group

South Africa

This article considers the ways in which sub-councils ‘bring government closer to the people’ by creating an intermediary level between local wards and the metropolitan council in Cape Town. Daily encounters between administrative staff, elected representatives and local communities within an impoverished formerly ‘black’ area demonstrate the intricacy of interactions and relationships between governing strategies from above and the tactics of the governed from below. Beyond conflicting objectives and rationalities, I argue that citizenship may be defined as a constant negotiation of legitimacy between stakeholders, never definitely trapped ‘below’ or ‘above’ the actual challenges of the city.

Abstract based directly on the original source


Website References

Cape Town


Human settlements

Local government

Poverty & inequality

Public participation

South Africa

Township Studies Group


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