Gerrymandering in Municipal Demarcation Processes in South Africa: Selected Cases of the Collins Chabane and JB Marks Local Municipalities
Keywords:redistricting, gerrymandering, municipal boundary determination/re-determination, local government, South Africa, Municipal Demarcation Board
This article focuses on political processes, specifically redistricting, which is the political process of redrawing electoral boundaries within which people contest local government elections. It has, however, become common practice for the political party in power to review electoral boundaries in its favour, a practice known as gerrymandering. In South Africa, municipal boundary review, which takes place every five years to either determine new boundaries or re-determine existing boundaries for the purposes of municipal elections, has always given rise to objections. The reasons for such objections range from the lack of public participation in the demarcation process to public perceptions of the value of belonging to one municipality as opposed to another, tribalism, and service delivery concerns. The main findings emanating from the scrutiny of literature on municipal boundary determination protests and the two municipal case studies in South Africa revealed elements of gerrymandering motivated by the political aspirations of those in power.
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