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Spaces of change: tribal authorities in the former KaNgwane homeland, South Africa

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South Africa's democratic transition has had a significant impact upon localized governance systems in mediating development opportunities within the former apartheid homelands. This paper uses a case study from the former KaNgwane homeland to evaluate the role of the Matsamo Tribal Authority in shaping livelihoods and access to environmental resources. It is argued that although the colonial and apartheid empowerment of the tribal authorities continues to have symbolic and material meaning for rural populations, newly created democratic structures are challenging traditional governance systems in the post-apartheid era. The intersection between these contrasting, and historically situated, systems suggests a dynamic renegotiation is occurring that will continue to impact rural households within the former places of apartheid.
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Keywords: KaNgwane; South Africa; development; governance; homelands; tribal authorities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712-1098, USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 March 2005

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