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Valour inspires book on community protests
2016-10-18

Description: Dr Matebesi book cover Tags: Dr Matebesi book cover

The cover of Dr Sethulego Matebesi’s
book, Civil strife against local governance:
Dynamics of community protests in
contemporary South Africa, that will be
released on 1 November 2016.
Photo: Supplied

Two significant political events: the murder of an unarmed protester, and school children forced out of school sparked the idea to write a book on community protests.
The book, Civil strife against local governance: Dynamics of community protests in contemporary South Africa, by Dr Sethulego Matebesi, gives an academic account of service delivery protests in South Africa.

Research address protests in different communities
“The focus of my book is on community protests directed against municipalities in both predominantly black and white communities,” Dr Matebesi, senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State, said. The funding for the book was received from the National Research Foundation and the Erasmus Mundus EU-Saturn Scholarship.

Informs literature on service delivery protests

The struggle against municipalities reaches across geographic and demographic boundaries, but the violent turn of protests in black communities in contrast to white communities has become somewhat of a hegemonic account by scholars. “The book connects the critical issue of community protests with the equally precarious issue of political trust in local government,” Dr Matebesi said. Case studies in the book are indicative of significant shifts in community protest – thus making it timely. Dr Matebesi said: “The book informs the growing literature on community protests and also fills an empirical void by including protesters in residents’ associations.”

“The book is a personal milestone and
the single greatest return on the
sacrifices made over the past 4 years.”





Personal milestone worth the sacrifice
Research was conducted between 2012 and 2015, whereby two case study sites were selected in four provinces to account the different tactics used. “The book is a personal milestone and the single greatest return on the sacrifices made over the past four years,” Dr Matebesi said.

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