The Fate of the Eastern Cape
The Fate of the Eastern Cape
History, Politics and Social Policy
Edited by Greg Ruiters
Published in 2011 by University of KwaZulu-Natal Press Private Bag X01 Scottsville, 3209 South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ukznpress.co.za
© 2011 University of KwaZulu-Natal
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from University of KwaZuluNatal Press.
Managing editor: Sally Hines Editor: Lisa Compton Typesetter: Patricia Comrie Indexer: Stacie Gibson Cover design: Flying Ant Designs
Printed and bound by Interpak Books, Pietermaritzburg
Acknowledgements Contributors Abbreviations Introduction Greg Ruiters Part I The Politics of Scale and the Political Foundations of the Eastern Cape 1 Inventing Provinces: Situating the Eastern Cape Greg Ruiters 2 How the Eastern Cape Lost its Edge to the Western Cape: The Political Economy in the Eastern Cape on the Eve of Union Jeff Peires 3 The Policy Context and the Consequences of Fiscal Decentralisation Robert van Niekerk 4 Traditional Authorities and Democracy: Are we Back to Apartheid? Lungisile Ntsebeza 5 Political Contestation and the ANC in the Eastern Cape Thabisi Hoeane 6 Eastern Cape Civil Society and NGOs: Forces for Change or Partners of the State? Siv Helen Hesjedal
viii ix xiii 1
Part II Economy, Environment and Development 7 The Eastern Cape Economy: The Need for Pro-growth and Pro-poor Policies Chris Edwards 8 Competitive Provinces or Co-operative Governance? Greg Ruiters 9 The Impasse of Local Economic Development Etienne Nel 10 Coega, Corporate Welfare and Climate Crisis Patrick Bond 11 The Eastern Cape Environment: Problems and People-centred Solutions Morgan Griffiths and Patrick Dowling 12 Volkswagen Workers: Global Integration and Union Disintegration Ashwin Desai Part III Service Delivery 13 Health Care and Responses to the HIV Epidemic in the Eastern Cape Kevin Kelly 14 Transformative Municipal Services in the Eastern Cape Greg Ruiters 15 Upscaling and Nationalising Social Grants: From Decentralised to Centralised Delivery Nomalanga Mkhize 16 Eastern Cape Schools: Resourcing and Class Inequality Monica Hendricks 17 The State of Housing in the Eastern Cape: 40-Square-Metre Houses with a 30-Square-Metre Budget Chantelle de Nobrega Part IV Case Studies and Conclusion 18 Peri-urban Land Redistribution and Civic Associations in Post-apartheid Lukhanji (Greater Queenstown) Luvuyo Wotshela
121 123 137 153 164
199 201 219
19 Transkei’s Wild Coast: Development and Frustration at Dwesa-Cwebe Reserve Robin Palmer and Nick Hamer 20 Minimum Wages for Farm Workers Gilton Klerck and Lalitha Naidoo 21 Provinces in Contention: Wither the Eastern Cape? Greg Ruiters Postscript Greg Ruiters Appendix 1: Raymond Mhlaba: The First Eastern Cape Premier Appendix 2: Former Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela’s Letter of Resignation from the ANC Appendix 3: Excerpt from African National Congress Polokwane Policy Resolution on Provinces Index
289 300 310
331 332 334 336 337
I am grateful for advice and encouragement from Robbie van Niekerk, Jeff Peires, Chris de Wet, David McDonald, Patrick Bond, Andrew Murray, Azwel Banda and Siv Hesjedal. I am also indebted to the anonymous reviewers whose valuable comments have been incorporated into the book. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in South Africa has generously supported our Eastern Cape Research and Summer School. Thanks to Arnt Hopfman, Rose Khumalo and Gerd Stephan; to Summer School presenters and participants and Public Services Accountability Monitor researchers for sharing ideas and passions for a better Eastern Cape; and to Wendy Dobson for sharing insights and stories about provinces. Rob and Mindy Berold helped with editing early drafts. Colleagues at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (Judith, Valerie, Michelle, Nick, Debbie, Katie, Valance and Nova) also gave their time, while the Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, set new directions for pro-poor research at the University. We are very grateful to our wonderful editors, Sally Hines and Lisa Compton, for their unwavering support and suggestions for improving the book. The contributors must be thanked for their patience. David Harvey, Gill Hart, Beverly Silver and Giovanni Arrighi have provided enduring inspiration. Darlene and Lillina – always close to my thoughts – and my brothers (Tony, Alistair and Ashley) provided much-needed emotional sustenance.
Patrick Bond directs the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZuluNatal in Durban. He is the author and co-author of several books, including Talk Left, Walk Right: South Africa’s Frustrated Global Reforms (University of KwaZuluNatal Press, 2004) and, most recently, Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society: Negative Returns on South African Investments (co-edited with Rehana Dada and Graham Erion) (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2009). Chantelle de Nobrega is a researcher at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), based at Rhodes University. She monitors the Eastern Cape government departments of housing, local government and traditional affairs. Her broader research interests include ethics and political sociology, particularly gender studies and women’s rights. Ashwin Desai teaches at the University of Johannesburg. He is the author of We are the Poors: Community Struggles in Post-apartheid South Africa (Monthly Review Press, 2002). His most recent book (co-written with Goolam Vahed) is Inside Indenture, 1860–1914: A South African Story (HSRC Press, 2007). He is currently editing a book on sport in post-apartheid South Africa. Patrick Dowling is a senior environmentalist with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) in Cape Town. He is actively involved in environmental training and advocacy, particularly on water and waste, regularly contributing articles to local and national media. Chris Edwards is a senior fellow at the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK. Chris has worked in the Eastern Cape Province,
first in 2002/3 on the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy and then in 2005/6 in preparing an Industrial Development Strategy Framework (IDSF) for the province. He is the author of a number of articles and books, including The Fragmented World: Competing Theories of Trade, Money and Crisis (Methuen, 1985). Morgan Griffiths holds an M.Sc. in conservation biology, and is a conservation officer for the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), Eastern Cape region. He serves on various regional governmental forums and industrial environmental monitoring committees. Nick Hamer has an M.Sc. in environmental monitoring from Bradford University. He is a Research Associate of the Rhodes University Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). Monica Hendricks teaches at the Rhodes University Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA), where she is deputy director. She has also published her research on children’s classroom writing and teachers’ literacy practices in the Eastern Cape. Siv Helen Hesjedal works for the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC) in Bisho, where she co-ordinates ECSECC’s work with NGOs and civil society organisations. Currently Siv is managing an assessment of the Provincial Growth and Development Plan for the Eastern Cape. Thabisi Hoeane is a lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University. His main research area is South African political parties and their contribution to and role in the country’s democratisation process. Kevin Kelly is a director of CADRE, an NGO based in Grahamstown which supports HIV/AIDS responses through strategy-development research and evaluation. He is the managing editor of the African Journal of AIDS Research and a founding member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association. Gilton Klerck teaches industrial and economic sociology at Rhodes University. He has published papers on collective bargaining, workplace restructuring, labour market segmentation and conflict in the workplace.
Nomalanga Mkhize was formerly a researcher at the Public Service Accountability Monitor at Rhodes University in 2007. She is currently pursuing doctoral research at the University of Cape Town on the impact of private game farms on farm workers in the Eastern Cape. Lalitha Naidoo is the director of the East Cape Agricultural Research Project (ECARP), a non-profit organisation based in Grahamstown. She is currently completing her Ph.D. at Rhodes University based on a large-scale research project on the impact of the minimum wage on the agricultural sector. Etienne Nel teaches in the Department of Geography at Rhodes University. His main research and teaching interests lie in the areas of local economic development and urban geography, and he has written numerous articles and books on these topics. Nel is co-editor (with Christian M. Rogerson) of Local Economic Development in the Developing World: The Experience of Southern Africa (Transaction Publishers, 2005). Lungisile Ntsebeza holds the NRF Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa in the Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, and is a chief research specialist in the Democracy and Governance Research Programme of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He is the author of Democracy Compromised: Chiefs and the Politics of Land in South Africa (Brill Academic Publishers, 2005). Robin Palmer is professor and head of the Department of Anthropology at Rhodes University and has worked in various fields. He is currently engaged in follow-up research at Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve, the subject of a book he cowrote and co-edited called From Conflict to Negotiation: Nature-Based Development on the South African Wild Coast (HSRC Press, 2002). Jeff Peires is the author of The House of Phalo (Ravan Press, 1981), The Dead Will Arise (Ravan Press, 1989) and numerous articles on the history of the Xhosa and the Eastern Cape. He served two years as a member of the National Assembly representing Ngcobo, following which he was appointed to a senior post in the Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism of the Eastern Cape provincial government. He left government at the end of 2006 to concentrate on writing a history of the Eastern Cape. He is currently attached to the Rhodes University Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) as an honorary professor.
Greg Ruiters is the director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research and is Matthew Goniwe Professor in Society and Development at Rhodes University. He has written on social policy, privatisation, urban services and social movements. His recent work includes The Age of Commodity: The Privatisation of Water in Southern Africa (co-edited with David McDonald) (Earthscan Press, 2005). Robert van Niekerk teaches social policy at the University of Oxford. He is deputy director of the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy. Luvuyo Wotshela teaches history and environmental studies at Fort Hare University. He has written on resettlement in the Journal of Southern African Studies and the South African Historical Journal, and is completing work on patronage politics and change in the twentieth-century Eastern Cape.
ABET AIDS AMEO ANC ANCYL APF AQF APRM ART ASGISA BEE BIG BPO BRC CADRE CBO CDC CDDR
adult based education and training Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation African National Congress African National Congress Youth League Anti-Privatisation Forum Air Quality Forum African Peer Review Mechanism anti-retroviral therapy Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa Black Economic Empowerment Basic Income Grant business process outsourcing Border Rural Committee Centre for AIDS Development Research and Evaluation community-based organisation Coega Development Corporation Commission on the Demarcation/Delimitation of States/ Provinces/Regions CHC Community Health Centre CODESA Convention for a Democratic South Africa CONTRALESA Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa COPE Congress of the People CORE Co-operative for Research and Education COSATU Congress of South African Trade Unions CPA Community Property Association
CPI CSO CSP DA DBSA DEAET DEAT DFID DLA DP DPLG DSD DTI DWAF EC ECAC ECARP ECDC EC DEDEA ECDH ECNGOC ECSECC EIA EMC FAMSA FBE FBO FBW FFC FOSATU GDP GEAR GNU HIV ID IDASA
consumer price index civil society organisation Customised Sector Programmes Democratic Alliance Development Bank of Southern Africa Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Department for International Development (British) Department of Land Affairs Democratic Party Department of Provincial and Local Government Department of Social Development Department of Trade and Industry Department of Water Affairs and Forestry Eastern Cape Eastern Cape AIDS Council Eastern Cape Agricultural Research Project Eastern Cape Development Corporation Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs Eastern Cape Department of Housing Eastern Cape NGO Coalition Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council environmental impact assessment environmental monitoring committee Family and Marriage Society of South Africa free basic electricity faith-based organisations free basic water Financial and Fiscal Commission Federation of South African Trade Unions gross domestic product Growth, Employment and Redistribution Government of National Unity Human Immunodeficiency Virus Independent Democrats Institute for Democracy in South Africa
IDC IDP IDZ IFP IMF ISO ISP LED LRAD MBDA MEC MEDS MIDP MIG MP MPA NAFCOC NCOP NEDLAC NGO NHBRC NHS NIP NMM NNP NP NPO NSDP NUMSA PAC PES PGDP PHP PPASA PSAM PSNP PTO
Industrial Development Corporation Integrated Development Plan Industrial Development Zone Inkatha Freedom Party International Monetary Fund International Organization for Standardization Industrial Strategy Project local economic development Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development Mandela Bay Development Agency Member of the Executive Council (provincial) Micro-Economic Development Strategy Motor Industry Development Programme Municipal Infrastructure Grant Member of Parliament marine protected area National African Federated Chamber of Commerce National Council of Provinces National Economic Development and Labour Council non-governmental organisation National Home Builders Registration Council National Health System National Industrial Policy Nelson Mandela Metro New National Party National Party non-profit organisation National Spatial Development Perspective National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Pan Africanist Congress provincial equitable share Provincial Growth and Development Plan People’s Housing Process Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa Public Sector Accountability Monitor Primary School Nutrition Programme ‘permit to occupy’
RDP SAAWU SABCOHA SACP SALGA SAMREC SAMWU SANCA SANCO SANGOCO SANGONeT SASSA SCOPA SDF SDI SLAG SME SWC TAC TB TCOE TRALSO UDF UDM UNDP USSR VW VWSA WC WESSA WHO WMA
Reconstruction and Development Programme South African Allied Workers Union South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS South African Communist Party South African Local Government Association South African Marine Rescue and Education Centre South African Municipal Workers Union South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence South African National Civic Organisation South African National NGO Coalition South African NGO Network South African Social Security Agency Standing Committee on Public Accounts spatial development framework Spatial Development Initiative Settlement Land Acquisition Grant small and medium sized enterprises Sustaining the Wild Coast Treatment Action Campaign tuberculosis Trust for Community Outreach and Education Transkei Land Service Organisation United Democratic Front United Democratic Movement United Nations Development Programme Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Volkswagen Volkswagen South Africa Western Cape Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa World Health Organization water management area
The aims of this book This book has a threefold purpose. First, it provides an up-to-date guide to major political and economic developments in the Eastern Cape Province. Second, it explores the progress made in service delivery (health, housing, social grants, land, water and education) in the province. Third, it analyses the current problems and suggests future policy prescriptions to tackle the challenges in what is, by any account, the most deprived province in South Africa. With the future of provinces under governmental review, it seems timely to produce a book on the Eastern Cape, South Africa’s most stressed province, whose track record may directly influence the debate and subsequent policy changes. Many would argue that the Eastern Cape provides the best evidence for ending provincial governments. While the book is of relevance to the Eastern Cape (EC), it also has resonances for all those provinces which have been the inheritors of the former homelands. Indeed, this book might be a basis for related sets of independent critical studies of other provinces and the intergovernmental system as a whole. Is the South African intergovernmental system an inappropriate structure for reducing poverty in the country? While a government review in 2007 pronounced that ‘provinces are still relevant’, it also suggested there should be ‘gradual devolution to local government’ (DPLG 2007: 3).1 The then Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel noted: ‘[T]he country does not have adequate skills to staff a multitude of institutions . . . [W]e must look at the number of provinces as well as the assignment of powers and functions.’2 Alec Erwin, a leading figure in the trade unions and in the Mbeki government, warned against the ‘proliferation of development agencies’, while Barbara Hogan, acting as Minister of Health in 2009, lamented the
autonomy of provinces since it detracted from coherent national policies (cited in Isaacs 2009). Although the starting point of this volume is the EC, we do not believe an adequate perspective can emerge by looking at the province as an isolated ‘region’. Instead, we see the EC as internally uneven, for social differences within the EC may be as wide as comparable intra-national differences between the EC and the Western Cape (WC). Dealings with other provinces, the national state and global forces also structure what happens in the EC. Furthermore, the way these external influences are internalised is mediated by politics, civil society and human agency. Many chapters argue that solutions for the EC lie beyond the province. Moreover, we argue that the EC’s failures are not only about political will and cliques but relate to structural issues with roots in the nature of the social order, the form of the state and geographies of uneven development that were negotiated in 1993. In this context, the book traverses issues such as the formation of provincial governments as quasi-federal entities; uneven development and the flows of money, people and power that create and sustain provinces; the nature of the ANC; democracy; corruption; the importance of institutions; and competing notions of needs and society. These themes are often covered by scholars in political geography and social policy studies (Agnew 2002) but have been lacking in the South African literature. Many recent books on South Africa’s transition cover the country as a whole using aggregated national statistics, but they neglect the issues around uneven development and the ways socio-economic and political struggle manifests in sub-national politics. Influential annual publications, such as the South Africa Survey (produced by the South African Institute of Race Relations) and the State of the Nation (e.g., Southall 2005), provide a national analysis but with little awareness that there are provinces in South Africa and that provinces and the intergovernmental system matter a great deal. To our knowledge there is not a single comprehensive political and socio-economic analysis of the contemporary EC, or of any other province for that matter. If we shift our lens from the national scale to the provincial scale (without forgetting the local and global scales), we see very different dynamics and processes. Different configurations of power, different priorities for provincial actors, different understandings of roles and different mixes of issues begin to appear. The view from the Union Buildings in Pretoria sometimes assumes the government is a coherent, seamless organisation. However, it is wrong to see the centre as consisting of powerful policymakers able to impose themselves on lower organs
of the state. National policies often get radically distorted in the process of being carried out by provincial government. The ‘whole-nation bias’ (the term is from Gibson 2004) produces a flat view of South Africa that leaves us with little sense of the geographic/territorial dimensions of the play of power, the inequalities between provinces, and the ‘articulations of state power’ created by new provinces (Hart 2002). Articulations of power are, of course, entangled with the protracted internal crises of the ANC Alliance. The whole-nation bias presupposes a ‘top-down’ view of policy. Policymakers at the centre often lack a real sense of how street-level bureaucrats bend or even resist their policies (Lipsky 1971). To paraphrase the policy-implementation scholar Aaron Wildavsky, great expectations in Pretoria might be dashed in Bisho; conversely, expectations in Bisho might be dashed in Pretoria. These are some of the reasons why we asked various scholars to contribute towards a book that would provide the public with an informed idea of the kind of problems facing the EC, and of the current state of the province within a national and interprovincial context. As well as being a biography of the EC, the book will perhaps also help set an agenda for social-spatial justice for the people of the EC – who, despite 200 years of colonial dispossession, then serving as labour for the gold mines and sugar plantations, then suffering forced removals from the WC and being subjected to Bantustan rule – still have strong belief in and great hope for fundamental change. This book is in four parts, the first covering the province from an historical and political perspective; the second examining economics, the environment and development; the third looking at various aspects of service delivery; and the final section being composed of a series of case studies. The book is multidisciplinary, with contributors drawn from a range of backgrounds including political science, social policy, economics, geography, anthropology, biology and education. As far as possible, each author has tried to offer a wider context for his or her chapter. But each author brings his or her own perspective and insights about the problems of the province and about why these exist. We have tried to be comprehensive, critical and constructive in this book, while also considering larger questions such as why the nine provincial governments were created in the first place. Some issues – gender inequality, trade unions, the new geography of wealth and emerging agriculture – have not been covered in a systematic way in this book. Nevertheless, the book is the first general interdisciplinary study of the EC that focuses on the post-1994 period. The book underscores the importance of
provinces for the political landscape and social substance of South Africa’s transition. Social change (education, housing, health) is in large measure being decided at the provincial level and through provincial politics and structures. We hope the book will satisfy general readers looking for an overview of the EC, policy specialists and students who might find interesting questions for further research.
A scalar approach After the release of Nelson Mandela and through multiparty talks in 1993, a new map of South Africa with nine provincial governments was produced. President F.W. de Klerk, the last of the apartheid rulers, declared this arrangement a ‘great compromise’ that would allow for power sharing and checks on a too-powerful ANC. Provinces, so the story goes, would become a sphere of the state (not a tier, as in the past) and would be closer to the people; they would co-operate with one another; and they would ‘contribute to democratisation in South Africa, not as subordinate appendages to the national government (as in the past), but as articulators of regional interests and civil society’ (Simeon & Murray 2001: 66). Thus, the new South Africa may be seen as both united and divided administratively and politically, with new and old regional identities in tension with national identity and national imperatives. The common reasons for having nine provincial governments advanced at the time included:
[D]ecentralisation to regional and local governments has been shown to lead to more effective government. Political and civil society in South Africa was already organised on some form of provincial basis, for example, labour unions, political parties, sporting bodies, business bodies, etc. Provinces would be the best way to recognise diversity and minority political groupings. Decentralisation would encourage experimentation and creativity at provincial levels (De Villiers 2007: 5).3
The acceptance of decentralisation, ‘regional’ interests and devolution of power goes to the heart of the political settlement of 1993/4. Some argue that the decentralised approach is now choking off possibilities for a developmental state, and for deeper transformation and equity in South Africa (see Van Niekerk in Chapter 3 in this volume). The territorial organisation of space and of state institutions should be seen simultaneously as a medium, presupposition and outcome of conflicts – that is,
as reflections of the politics of scale (Brenner 1999). The decision to have nine provinces, to grant them certain powers and to demarcate them in a certain way exemplifies power strategies and alliances that are at the heart of what might be called the ‘politics of scale’. We see evidence of the political construction of scale in decisions about political-institutional design, networks between strategic actors across and within various scales, as well as in decisions about which functions to decentralise to them. As Agnew (2002: 139) argues, it is networks across scales rather than analysis at a single scale that is crucial, but the ‘scale at which a particular phenomenon is framed geographically matters’. Moreover, different dynamics are imparted when issues are defined and tackled at different scales (Cox 1997; Delany & Helga 1997; Swyngedouw 2000). The question of how various spheres and levels of the state and political parties work together or collide is also a crucial aspect of understanding society and politics from the standpoint of the ‘politics of scale’. How we think about, act and analyse phenomena is influenced by scale – generally denoted as local, regional, national and global. The household and the body are the more intimate of these scales but are always embedded in ‘higher scales’. The abuse of children, for example, happens within the scale of the private household but has become a public issue at a national scale thanks to strong gender-equality movements. In the everyday life and life chances of citizens, it matters greatly where one lives and whether provincial or local governments or chiefs provide land, build schools and hospitals, and construct and maintain roads that are accessible and of high quality. People who are forced to relocate to other provinces for work and return to the EC for Christmas are operating in multi-scalar ways. The health of the body politic and trust in the nation state depend to a significant extent on national action and sub-national organs of the state. The sub-national organs of the state have recently borne the brunt of service-delivery riots and of managing the fallout of South Africa’s choked transition. The fate of the EC is tied to issues of scale, although some would dispute the importance of the design of the state and rather emphasise other factors such as corrupt political practices and the exile culture of the ANC, weak civil society and the dominant party system (Lodge 2004; Southall 2005).4 However, as this book shows, scale shapes the resources that can be mobilised and the power relations produced. For example, the chances of various political parties to mobilise support and win elections are often determined by scale and changing provincial boundaries can drastically alter a party’s fortunes in elections. The capacity to upscale can be an immense source of power for the state or for
business or labour organisations. Scale affects our level of analysis in deciding, for example, whether housing is a local or national issue; or whether paying for water is a domestic responsibility at the household scale or a public issue for the state; or whether to organise local or national trade unions. According to the Constitution, intergovernmental relations (or inter-scalar relations) are not hierarchical but co-operative: each sphere’s autonomy must be ‘respected’. Provinces, it is claimed, should not obstruct central government; policies of various spheres should be ‘aligned and integrated’. Local governments also have to work with their provincial authorities, with whom they share overlapping functions (such as housing). But given duplication, confusion over roles and service-delivery failures, lack of policy and implementation alignment and widespread support for a developmental state, there is a need to review the role of sub-national structures. As Noxolo Kiviet, the fifth EC premier, noted: ‘[W]e have been hamstrung by the distinctness of those structures to the point that [they are] independent instead of interdependent.’5 How these intergovernmental dynamics have played out is one of the central themes of this book. There are competing ways of seeing regions and places. The view of the world as composed of disconnected parts (a mosaic) contrasts sharply with the view which sees processes as always embedded in multiple scales. A ‘local’ event such as six children dying in a hospital from contaminated drinking water cannot be isolated as a local, provincial, national or global event. It might plausibly have been an event that happened or at least reverberated at all these scales. Social life in general cannot be understood from a singular scalar view, and different abstractions and forces are set off at different scales (Harvey 1996). Places are constantly evolving, internalising external forces or defending themselves against such forces. Subjective senses of place vary between groups of people and individuals; people construct places in their memories, through collective myths and past material experiences. The attempt, for example, by the ANC to revive chiefs, kings and headmen (see Ntsebeza in Chapter 4 in this volume) has been integral to place remaking – that is, renaming places and monumentalising them. The Wild Coast might thus be reconstructed as a chiefly kingdom as much as it might be constructed as an exotic, empty and pristine wilderness by the tourist gaze and the tourist brochure. Various groups may compete to rewrite history and ensure that their definition of the past and their localities prevail, while history is repackaged as ‘heritage’ aimed at creating consumer attractions within ruinous inter-place competition. All this might be very different from the view of a sick mine worker returning to the EC from Egoli to die.
Many people of the EC also live and work in the WC. They are citizens of both provinces – hybrid citizens with claims, knowledge and experience traversing several scales. Migration is an important aspect of scalar politics and urbanisation but also takes on a peculiar aspect as provinces receiving migrants seek to blame various problems on the donor province. The WC, for example, has sought compensation from the central government for the inflow of EC migrants. In thinking about scale and militant opposition, it is also evident that alternatives constructed on highly localised grounds quickly find themselves outmanoeuvred and cut off. Socialism in one village or extreme militancy confined to one place rapidly exhausts itself. Localisms invariably have to find ways to universalise and speak to wider issues and scales. Translating vernacular styles into broader ones is a key challenge for municipalities and provinces wanting to push progressive policies.
The role of provinces Provinces spend 50 per cent of the state’s budget because they administer education, health and housing. Partly because they administer so much money and engage with so many public entities (parastatals), provincial governments have also become sites of accumulation, factional battle zones and fiefdoms for certain ANC groups, and they are intimately linked into national and provincial patronage networks. In 2000 nearly two-thirds of government employees in the country – an immense army of 816 000 people, mainly nurses, teachers and social workers – were employed by provinces (SAIRR 2001). Provinces have significant discretion over how to spend their budgets, often frustrating national government departments (see Van Niekerk in Chapter 3 in this volume; Isaacs 2009). But provincial leaders in South Africa are rewarded or punished by provincial criteria. This means they often have to act and think provincially. Once set down with borders, functions, definite amounts of central funds and a government with jurisdiction of definite territory, provinces harden into territorial institutions underpinned by definite class alliances, regional interests and regional identities sometimes bound up with ethnicity or language. Nevertheless, provinces remain embedded in national networks of power, party and business link-ups and influence. Most provinces have adopted their own regional development plans, formed their own economic agencies and developed their own brand. Provinces compete for scarce investments, tourists, skilled workers, and so on. South Africa’s minimalist economic ‘planning’ has been driven by liberalisation and a generally conservative
macroeconomic stance (Nattrass 2003; Wilson 2001). Nattrass argues that the ‘gamble’ that foreign direct investment would flow once investors saw these policies has not paid off. Between 1996 and 1999, private investment grew at only onetenth the rate hoped for, and foreign investment averaged less than 1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). In 2000, foreign investment declined to 0.5 per cent compared to the 2 per cent to 5 per cent in other emerging economies such as Brazil and Malaysia (Wilson 2001). This might show that the kind of economic growth (path) is wrong.6 Although the ANC controls eight of the nine provinces, as a party it has struggled to control various factions within provinces. Critics have warned of the spectre of ‘enclavism’ as some provincial leaders seem to put their own interests and plans before that of the nation. Others note that the intensified competitive approach between places and competitive ‘selling of place’ will usually disadvantage the weaker ones and exacerbate uneven development (Harvey 1996).
Introducing the Eastern Cape Historically, the EC was part of the British Empire’s first colony, and it is still known as Koloni in isiXhosa. As early as the 1890s, the regional economy had seen its money and skills moving to the gold mines (Trapido 1980), and the region’s farming economy underwent a long period of decline. The role of the EC in the greater South Africa has been largely one of a supplier of labour, primarily to the gold mines of the Witwatersrand. Maylam (1986) notes that by the mid-1930s, some 40 per cent of South Africa’s black miners came from the EC, especially the Transkei. Upon its birth the Eastern Cape Province was the poorest, least resourced and most administratively weak of all the provinces. The unemployment rate in the EC is twice that of the WC (SAIRR 2007). The EC is South Africa’s secondlargest province by size, covering 170 000 square kilometres – an area roughly half the size of reunified Germany. Since the late 1980s, most of the traditional labour-supply areas of the region have experienced dramatic decreases in income because of retrenchments in the mining industry. This is especially true of the Transkei Wild Coast areas of Lusikisiki, Bizana and Flagstaff, where 20 per cent of income used to come from miners’ remittances (Banks & Minkley 2005). Former Bantustan and border industrial areas such as Dimbaza, Butterworth and Queen-Industria, which had been heavily subsidised under apartheid, had more or less collapsed by 1993. The economic decline turned the province into what many termed a ‘dumping ground for surplus people’.
In the EC, only 2.9 per cent of whites were classified as poor in 1999 compared to 70 per cent of Africans. In 1999, the average EC white household earned R118 000 per annum, almost five times that of an average African household at R27 000 per annum. About 6 000 white farmers own about 10 million hectares of land – almost 60 per cent of the province’s land area. In 2004, the province was home to about 7 million people. Africans, coloureds and Indians made up 95 per cent of the provincial population (6.6 million), with about 350 000 whites making up the rest. Life expectancy has declined to 47.6 years, compared to 50 years for South Africa as a whole (SAIRR 2009). The poor health situation has been exacerbated by unworkable policies and inadequate financing. Moratoriums on staff appointments and equipment failures have become more frequent.7 Another vital feature of the EC is depopulation: between 1992 and 1997, there was an average net outmigration of 65 000 per annum, or 1 per cent of the population. In the same period only 19 200 people per annum moved from other provinces to the EC (Stats SA 2004). Electorally the province has remained solidly ANC, even with the ANC–South African Communist Party (SACP) hostilities that were especially fierce in 2006–7.8 In the words of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who hails from the EC, the province has
a long history of revolutionary struggle [and] had to maintain the tradition of producing the best members of the organisation [the ANC]. If the calibre of members in the Eastern Cape was not maintained, it could have consequences for the rest of the country.9
In the 2009 elections, however, the ANC lost 10 per cent of its support in the EC to the Congress of the People (COPE). The Democratic Alliance (DA) also made impressive gains in almost all EC districts, although its support at best hovered around 25 per cent, mainly in large urban areas such as East London, Port Elizabeth and Kouga – west of the Fish River. The voting pattern strongly reflects the EC’s racial demography, with most whites and a significant number of coloureds supporting the DA. On the one hand, the SACP has made major inroads in the EC, capturing the leading positions in the ANC provincial executive with Phumulo Masualle (SACP treasurer) being elected as ANC chairperson in the region. On the other hand, traditional chiefs and iinkosana (headmen) also campaigned for the ANC, for which they were well rewarded after the election: 162 EC headmen had their monthly salaries hiked from R2 700 to R6 700, while kings received a
princely sum of R45 000 a month.10 ANC support for traditional leaders could provide a bulwark against a resurgent left, in the province.
An overview of the book The book has four parts: Part I deals with political complexities of the EC; Part II covers the region’s economy, land and environment; Part III discusses services (housing, health, education and municipal services); and Part IV provides illustrative case studies and a conclusion. Part I begins with contextual chapters by Greg Ruiters, Jeff Peires and Robert van Niekerk. These chapters explore the inheritances, challenges and dilemmas of the new post-1994 provincial architecture in South Africa with reference to the EC. The chapters review the fundamental constitutional decision to have nine provinces, and look at the key role of the intergovernmental system in ‘making things go wrong’. These chapters see the provinces as new domains of institutional power, suggesting they are a lot more powerful (often in negative ways) than imagined. Provinces might have their own rationality and can sink what appear to be good national policies. They too have formal planning powers, can allocate budgets and have informal powers to pursue multiple agendas, including promoting their independent regional interests and sometimes the personal interests of connected individuals. In Chapter 1, Ruiters surveys the contemporary EC Province, drawing attention to the EC’s extraordinarily heavy inherited burdens compared to other provinces. In Chapter 2, Peires offers an economic historicalgeography of the divided EC colonial elite in the second half of the 1800s. Peires describes how the region became marginalised in the wider Cape Colony and the greater South Africa. He shows that the WC was built on EC money and provides further critical material to reconsider the role of provinces. Following, in Chapter 3, Van Niekerk tracks policymaking from the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) plan, drawing attention to health and social policy in the context of fiscal decentralisation. Lungisile Ntsebeza provides insights in Chapter 4 into scale politics in the unfolding entanglements of chiefs, headmen, civic groups and local councillors in rural areas. In 1994, after decades of unpopularity, the status of chiefs was reduced. Drawing on Mamdani’s seminal work (1996), Ntsebeza looks at the ANC policies that have since attempted to restore chiefly power, thereby compromising democratic processes in local government and access to land in rural areas. Ntsebeza suggests that if this anti-democratic policy momentum continues, a new decentralised despotism is likely to arise, with rural areas reverting to features
of the maligned Bantustan system, and with consequences for land allocation. This development is likely to reinforce tendencies towards a less unified South Africa and a less coherent state. Thabisi Hoeane’s analysis in Chapter 5 of political fault lines in the EC traces how, since the 1950s, EC urban centres and small town communities vigorously resisted the state. In the 1970s and 1980s, the EC again propelled the ANC to the political forefront in South Africa. But after the 1994 elections, divisions that are more emphatic emerged in the province between the leftists – represented by Makhenkesi Stofile and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) on the one side and the pro-Mbeki faction congregated around Mluleki George and powerful businesspersons on the other. Hoeane provides insights into fierce internal divisions in the ANC and scalar intersections between national interventions and provincial politics that set the stage for the emergence of COPE. In chapter 6, Siv Hesjedal surveys the state of ‘civil society’ in the province, the relationships of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with the provincial state, and the role of NGOs as socio-political forces. More than 3 700 registered non-profit organisations in the province provide social or educational services; most have emerged since 2003. However, she finds that the majority of these are weak, poor at advocacy and afraid to be too critical of the state, which is often their source of funds. Many are best described as ‘social enterprises’ tied to the provincial state, with only a few independently funded NGOs prepared to risk being vigorous critics of government. Part II contains six chapters on different aspects of the province’s economy, including provincial programmes, the regional economy as a whole, mega-projects, local economic development, game farms and coastal development, and the automobile sector. In chapter 7, Chris Edwards looks at the contemporary EC economy and the constraints of provincial economic planning within an unfavourable national macroeconomic framework. He suggests that there is little hope of significant job creation in the capital-intensive auto sector, and more scope for jobs in agriculture and tourism. He concludes that the EC economy on its own cannot change unemployment or income levels on any significant scale unless the national government diverges from its export-centred policies. In Chapter 8, Greg Ruiters explores the economic role of provincial governments and their agencies as they have been developed within the framework of provincial competitiveness. He argues that the competitive approach places severe limits on coherent state planning.
Etienne Nel’s Chapter 9 on local economic development (LED) reveals that although many LED projects have attracted significant external funding, almost all have collapsed due to political infighting, inadequate support from local government, poor management and the marginalisation of the private sector. In this light, Nel says, the government’s recent increased support for LED at district level raises questions about the appropriate scale of LED interventions. Patrick Bond’s Chapter 10 on Coega shows how the provincial elite are deeply implicated in buttressing expensive mega-projects that seek to benefit large corporations and well-placed ANC elites. Bond argues that Coega is ill considered both for the environment and job creation. Conservation, game reserves and land issues are examined in Chapter 11 by Morgan Griffiths and Patrick Dowling. They point to the weak capacity of provincial and municipal authorities to enforce conservation laws, and they discuss the major threats to the environment, especially coastal developments and game farms that have become the principal form of land use in the south-western part of the EC. The game-farming industry is both competitive and highly secretive. Ashwin Desai’s Chapter 12 focuses on struggles around the auto sector, showing how auto workers at Volkswagen (VW) in the Uitenhage area responded to the challenges of restructuring under neoliberal globalisation. VW’s strategy was to follow lean-and-mean competitive policies. The restructuring created contradictory impulses among both the union and employers, leading to bitter conflicts within the trade union movement and between the trade unions and government. Part III looks at policy implementation in health, education, social grants, housing and municipal services. The EC’s social indicators show that two-thirds of its people rely on pensions and subsistence agriculture. Of 107 000 children in South Africa living in child-headed households, over a quarter of them live in the EC. In Chapter 13, Kevin Kelly presents an overview of health status and healthcare services in the province. He explores the scale of the HIV epidemic, and provincial government and non-state actors’ responses to it. He notes that in the EC, there is no widely recognised provincial champion to lead the AIDS response, either within or outside of government. Following an overview of service delivery in Chapter 14, Ruiters examines the scale of the challenges facing the 45 EC municipal entities and how they have responded. The scale of backlogs and skills shortages is often beyond what a single municipality can grapple with effectively. He suggests much more can be achieved by multi-jurisdiction co-operation, a focus on core mandates, democratisation and working with front-line municipal workers.
Chapter 15 by Nomalanga Mkhize looks at the notorious grants pay-out system, which was taken away from provinces in 2005 and up-scaled to a new national agency. Mkhize’s research reveals that in the five locations surveyed, the previous systemic failure of the payment system is being progressively resolved. Chapter 16 by Monica Hendricks turns to the ongoing crisis in education. Hendricks argues that educational inequality is increased by resource inequalities, gross bureaucratic bungling and the underutilisation of existing resources by teachers. Chantelle de Nobrega’s Chapter 17 considers the housing challenge in the EC. De Nobrega asks why so many houses are poorly built. She finds that established construction firms cherry-pick big projects. Part IV contains three case studies (the land-reform programme, rural tourism and farm workers) and a final conclusion. The case studies provide insights into various geographical parts of the province. Luvuyo Wotshela’s Chapter 18 looks at the patterns of land acquisition/ invasion in the greater Queenstown area in the 1990s. He identifies three phases of land reform in Lukhanji and the pattern of redistribution from 2003 onwards. Chapter 19 by Robin Palmer and Nick Hamer explores how a land invasion ended up as a local land trust for an eco-tourist venture in the Dwesa-Cwebe Reserve on the former Transkei’s Wild Coast. The Dwesa-Cwebe Land Trust started as an alliance of local leaders protesting their exclusion from the reserve. It then developed into a micro-municipality representing the Dwesa-Cwebe group of communities. The authors describe the complicated processes that unfolded. In Chapter 20, Gilton Klerck and Lalitha Naidoo show how the 2003 minimum-wage law has been applied to farm workers in the Cacadu area. The law has set minimum wages but, the authors argue, it has neither challenged employment practices nor improved the working conditions of farm workers. The concluding chapter revisits the ‘big’ questions around provinces and the EC’s development trajectory. Ruiters sees clear signs of ‘militant provincialism’. The hegemony of the competitive trickle-down model continues to drive regional polarisation in South Africa. Only intensely democratic engagement and solidarity will allow provinces to be renegotiated. Ruiters suggests that we need to rethink the form and functions of regional government.
1. See also Herald, 16 April 2007. 2. ‘Manuel joins call for fewer provinces’, Pretoria News, 4 May 2007.
3. Bertus de Villiers was the technical adviser to the Commission on the Demarcation/ Delimitation of States/Provinces/Regions (CDDR) in 1993. 4. See also Helen Zille’s comments in ‘Provinces are a bulwark of democracy’, Business Day, 21 July 2009. 5. Interview with Noxolo Kiviet, Masincokole, August 2009, pp. 6–7. 6. See Focus 55 (2007), published by the University of Pretoria. 7. Quoted in Daily Dispatch, 21 August 2007. 8. Quoted in Herald, 16 April 2007. 9. ANC Daily News Briefing, 4 December 2006. 10. ‘Department sets aside R3 million for training of traditional leaders’. http://www.info. gov.za/speeches/2009/09110211251001.htm (accessed on 16 December 2009).
Agnew, J. 2002. Making Political Geography. London: Arnold. Banks, L. and G. Minkley. 2005. ‘Going nowhere slowly: Land, development and livelihoods in rural EC’. Social Dynamics 31 (1): 3–42. Brenner, N. 1999. ‘Globalisation as reterritorialisation: The re-scaling of urban governance in the European Union’. Urban Studies 36 (3): 431–51. Cox, K. (ed.) 1997. Spaces of Globalization: Reasserting the Power of the Local. New York: Guilford Press. Delaney, D. and L. Helga. 1997. ‘The political construction of scale’. Political Geography 16 (2): 93–7. De Villiers, B. 2007. ‘The future of provinces in South Africa: The debate continues’. Policy Paper No. 2, Konrad Adenhauer Stiftung, Johannesburg, October. DPLG (Department of Provincial and Local Government). 2007. ‘Update on DPLG policy review of the White Paper on Local Government’. Pretoria: RSA. http://www.thedplg. gov.za/policy (accessed on 23 March 2008). Gibson, E. 2004. Federalism and Democracy in Latin America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hart, G. 2002. Disabling Globalisation: Places of Power in Post-apartheid South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. Harvey, D. 1996. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Isaacs, D. 2009. ‘Constitution 17th Amendment Bill – good or bad?’ http://www.politicsweb. co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71619?oid=134659&sn=Detail (accessed on 30 June 2009). Lipsky, M. 1971. ‘Street-level bureaucracy and the analysis of urban reform’. Urban Affairs Quarterly 6: 391–409. Lodge, T. 2004. ‘The ANC and the development of party politics in modern South Africa’. Journal of Modern African Studies 42 (2): 189–219. Mamdani, M. 1996. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Cape Town: David Philip.
Maylam, P. 1986. A History of the African People of South Africa from the Early Iron Age to the 1970s. Cape Town: David Philip. Nattrass, N. 2003. ‘The state of the economy: A crisis of unemployment’. In: State of the Nation 2003–2004, edited by J. Daniel, A. Habib and R. Southall. Cape Town: HSRC Press. SAIRR (South African Institute of Race Relations). 2001. South Africa Survey 2001–2002. Johannesburg: SAIRR. SAIRR. 2007. South Africa Survey 2007–2008. Johannesburg: SAIRR. SAIRR. 2009. Fast Facts, June 2009. Johannesburg: SAIRR. Simeon, R. and C. Murray. 2001. ‘Multi-sphere governance in South Africa: An interim assessment’. Publius 31 (2): 65–92. Southall, R. 2005. State of the Nation. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Stats SA (Statistics South Africa). 2004. Population Estimates. Pretoria: Stats SA. http:// www.statssa.gov.za/PublicationsHTML/Report-00-91-022004/html/Report-00-91022004_15.html (accessed on 26 February 2007). Swyngedouw, E. 2000. ‘Authoritarian governance, power and the politics of rescaling’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 18: 63–76. Trapido, S. 1980. ‘ “The friends of the natives”: Merchants, peasants and the political and ideological structure of liberalism in the Cape, 1854–1910’. In: Economy and Society in Pre-Industrial South Africa, edited by S. Marks and A. Atmore. London: Longman. Wilson, F. 2001. ‘Employment, education and the economy’. In: South Africa Survey 2001– 2002. Johannesburg: SAIRR.
PART I The Politics of Scale and the Political Foundations of the Eastern Cape
Situating the Eastern Cape
n this chapter, I describe how South Africa’s provinces and the new Eastern Cape (EC) came about after 1993. Establishing the provincial structure of the new South African state was a contested process, and the final governance structure reflects the outcome of the negotiations around the political settlement of 1993– 4. The chapter begins with historical background which illustrates the politics of scale and then proceeds to explain how provinces were formed in the new South Africa. Provinces are geopolitical spaces with major implications for governance, party politics, economic empowerment and social identity. The chapter explores these implications for the EC Province in particular.
Controlled regions in white South Africa: 1910–93 The Union of South Africa, formed in 1910, consolidated a single centre of power dominated by white people for the better part of the twentieth century. Until 1994, South Africa’s four provinces were the Cape and Natal (former British settler colonies) and the Transvaal and Orange Free State (former Boer republics). They were not governments per se but administrative units, which had an externally appointed administrator accountable to the centre. The provincial administrator’s primary responsibility was to ensure that the ‘interests of the Union’ were maintained (Hofmeyer 1930: 300). Central government at this time could transfer provincial civil servants across provinces. In the 1970s, two new ‘national states’ were created in the Cape Province: the Transkei (1976) and Ciskei (1981). Apartheid would socially engineer the ‘diversity’ of different ‘communities’.1 Between 1960 and 1980, South Africa sought to
reinforce the homelands system through industrial decentralisation. However, in 1981 Prime Minister P.W. Botha abandoned this project, revealing a new plan for South Africa that would erase hard boundaries between white South Africa and the Bantustans. To this end, nine development regions cutting across Bantustan boundaries were promulgated (see Figure 1.1), along with Regional Development Advisory Committees and the new Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
Figure 1.1 Demarcation of regions designated by the DBSA in 1982.
Source: Muthien & Khosa (1995: 310).
The plan was to disperse capital investment among major nodes within the nine regions. The economic plan to induce capital dispersion was meant to undergird a new political constitutional order – a federal South Africa that would undo much of the Verwoerdian model (Hart 2002). These strong state interventions were abandoned by 1988, when the apartheid state adopted Thatcherite policies.
With the negotiated settlement in late 1993, the new provinces matched quite closely the DBSA’s map of nine regions.
Verwoerdian ghosts in remapping a new South Africa: The 1994 compromise The freeing of Nelson Mandela from prison and the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and other political organisations by the South African government in February 1990 paved the way for a negotiated end to official apartheid. In late 1991 the government and the ANC convened a multiparty negotiations forum, the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA 1), followed by CODESA 2 (May 1992). The National Party (NP) insisted that ‘regional clauses’, which would make South Africa a quasifederal state, be put into the Interim Constitution and that these could be changed only with a 75 per cent majority vote. However, the ANC feared the refragmentation of the future state implicit in the NP’s negotiating proposals for new provinces, which vested exclusive powers in the provinces:
We in the ANC want democracy and development at all levels . . . The South African government, on the other hand, is really interested in creating disguised NP-dominated homelands, even if this means wrecking the economy and even if it results in promoting population movements so as to concentrate potential voting support in regions of potential NP hegemony. If this were to happen, the bitterness of the past will re-surface in new forms, and just as Balkanisation is bringing disaster to the Balkans, so would its equivalent in South Africa tear our country apart (ANC 1993: 1).
[t]he ANC and its allies . . . [had] believed that only a powerful centralized state would have the strength and resources to engage in the massive process of social and economic transformation that lay ahead. Fragmenting . . . authority would make decision-making more difficult and undermine the capacity to achieve reconstruction and development (Simeon & Murray 2001: 68; emphasis added).
The ANC’s counter-proposal was for the maintenance of the four provinces under the transitional government, which would rule until the first democratic elections were held, with the issue of provincial government to be determined post-election by the first democratic constitution-making body (Van Niekerk 2008). On 28 May 1993, the negotiators appointed the Commission on the Demarcation/Delimitation of States/Provinces/Regions (CDDR). The negotiators at the multiparty talks then proposed a new map of South Africa in 1993/4 with nine provinces. The text box below shows how the NP understood the remapping of South Africa as part of the negotiated settlement and as part of the foundations for the country.
No changes to the provinces without provincial referendums Provinces were included in the new constitutional system largely at the insistence of the non-ANC parties – particularly the NP, the DP [Democratic Party] and the IFP [Inkatha Freedom Party]. The ANC had traditionally supported the idea of a centralised state because it claimed that a unitary dispensation would be most compatible with the needs of a developmental state. The IFP, on the other hand, strongly favoured a system that would make adequate provision for substantial differences between South Africa’s regions. It insisted, in particular, that special provision should be made for the accommodation of the Zulu monarchy and the Zulu people in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The acceptance of provinces was one of the new Constitution’s great compromises: on the one hand, they were not nearly as strong as the IFP, the NP and the DP wanted; on the other hand, they provided much greater devolution of power to the regions than the ANC originally advocated. There were sound reasons for the decentralisation of power: the provincial system was in line with the constitutional principle of subsidiarity (central to the European Union) that holds that government should be devolved to the lowest effective level. Subsidiarity ensures that government remains close to the people and caters to the special and differing needs of communities in various parts of the country. For example, one of the new Constitution’s objectives was to ensure that services would be delivered in
languages that would be understood by South Africa’s eleven language groups. Accordingly, provincial boundaries broadly coincided with the core locations of our different language groups and the Constitution requires that provinces should use at least two official languages. In addition, a degree of federalism counteracts the concentration of too much power in the hands of central governments. It also enables different regions to experiment with alternative policy approaches and to compete against one another for investment. Undoubtedly, several of our provincial governments have failed dismally to deliver effective services. Provinces might also involve additional expenses. However, service-delivery problems would not disappear if provincial functions were transferred to inefficient national departments or municipalities. Also, federal systems need not cost more. The United States and Australia, both strong federations, spend a considerably smaller percentage of GDP on all levels of government than do countries with centralised systems like France and New Zealand. (The USA figure is 30.5%; Australia is 32.7% while New Zealand is 39.6% and France, 52.4%). The strongest arguments against dismantling the provinces or reducing their number are, however, political. Any move to change the status quo will inevitably be interpreted by minorities and non-ANC parties as a further step to erode the constitutional compromises on which the new South Africa is founded, and to concentrate total power in the hands of the ruling party. (According to the ANC policy document, KZN [KwaZulu-Natal] and the Western Cape ‘present special challenges for the ANC politically’.) We are currently witnessing the vehement rejection of the people of Khutsong to incorporation against their wishes into the North West Province. Any move to dilute the special status of KwaZulu-Natal – or to incorporate the Western Cape and the Northern Cape into their neighbours – would encounter even more vehement and emotional opposition. Accordingly, we need assurances that the Government will not change the current provincial system – or provincial borders – without first holding referendums in all the provinces. Source: De Klerk Foundation. (n.d.). ‘No changes to the provinces without provincial referendums’. http://www.fwdklerk.org.za/commentariesitem.php?recordID=19 (accessed on 23 June 2008).
The position of the Democratic Alliance (DA) was similar to that articulated by De Klerk (see text box below).
From ‘Scrapping the provinces threatens our democracy’ by Helen Zille, leader of the DA . . . The argument that provinces are a legacy of colonialism and apartheid is entirely contrived. The provincial sphere of government, and its powers, were not forced upon us, or inherited by us. They were a homegrown product of the constitutional negotiations of the early 1990s, that required compromise from all parties. And their primary purpose is to diffuse power throughout the body politic, through a system of checks and balances that prevent too much power being concentrated in too few hands. The main architects of our new constitution understood that the essence of democracy is limiting the power of politicians, not concentrating it. But the ANC has never accepted this outcome. They are removing checks and balances one by one, through extending control over independent institutions of state (from the Judiciary to the Public Protector) as well as other spheres of government, such as Provinces. In doing so the very essence of our constitution is being subverted . . . Source: http://www.da.org.za/newsroom.htm?action=view-news-item&id=6977 (accessed on 30 July 2009).
De Villiers2 (2007: 5) summarises the common arguments in favour of provincial governments: • Decentralisation to regional and local governments has been shown to build capacity and to lead to more effective government. • The population composition of South Africa requires some form of regional organisation to allow for cultural, regional and language diversity. • Political and civil society in South Africa was already organised on some form of provincial basis, for example, labour unions, political parties, sporting bodies, religious groupings, agricultural organisations, business bodies, etc. • Provinces would be the best way to build national unity, while at the same time recognising diversity and the rights of minority political groupings.
• Decentralisation would encourage experimentation and creativity at provincial levels. • Decentralisation would build leadership in governance and administrative sectors. • Decentralisation would enhance the accessibility of government and decision-making. • Decentralisation would bring government closer to the people.
Significantly, a senior government civil servant in the Department of Constitutional Development and an influential member of the NP, Fanie van der Merwe, argued that multiple provinces would not work and that managing four provinces proved difficult enough (Spitz and Chaskalson 2000). These prescient observations were not entertained by NP politicians, who were primarily concerned with the political possibilities of provincial power. Moreover, the arguments for more provinces and their underlying assumptions about ‘diversity’ appealed to an entrenched or primordial view of identities in South African society (see Taylor 1992); they are often presented ahistorically. They also relied on common myths about local democracy being more authentic and closer to the people. Against this, Mansbridge (1980) argues that face-to-face local communities of the famed ‘town hall democracy’ are typically characterised by suppression and fear of conflict that works in favour of the powerful; in fact, the interests of the poor are better protected in large communities. Localised redistributive solutions are often highly regressive and easily undermined. Muthien and Khosa (1995: 303) point out that ‘the alterations of the proposed Commission map . . . concealed vested white minority interests and ethnic claims, and reveal the complexity of meshing traditional and democratic structures . . . [U]neven development may set the scene for future confrontation and conflict.’3 Furthermore, ‘the motives for a separate Northern Cape region probably rested on its small African population, since “coloureds” form 75 per cent of the total population. The most persistent claims for a separate Northern Cape region came from business, establishment and National Party-aligned groups, not the historically oppressed’ (1995: 311). Similarly, Cornelissen and Horstmeier (2002: 57) argued: ‘The fact that the nine provinces used essentially the same geographic foundation as the so-called development regions created by the apartheid state in the 1980s means that the provinces reflect the predominant ethno-linguistic contrasts of South Africa’s population.’4
But whatever the rationalisations provided for the compromise, it is indisputable that they were strategic (Kihato & Rapoo 2001; Lodge 2002). Organised business wanted federalism since it believed this would constrain the radical ANC elite, satisfy ‘ethnic’ constituencies, reassure nervous investors and provide additional institutional checks and balances (Cobbett et al. 1987; McCarthy 1986). Big business had argued for an independent Reserve Bank, two houses of Parliament and an independent judiciary to limit the centre’s power (Cobbett et al. 1987). There were only a few differences between the proposed CDDR map and the DBSA’s (shown in Figure 1.1).5 As Muthien and Khosa (1995: 313) explain: ‘The geographic size of the Western Cape region was drastically reduced by the Commission. The 1993 “compromise” also meant that the ANC elites would have the lion’s share of the provincial spoils. Already by 1995 Premiers were “clamouring for power”.’ One cynical advantage, as Lodge (2002: 51) suggests, was that provinces ‘could supply a focus for public dissatisfaction which might otherwise have been directed at national government’.
National context and provincial roles: Theory and practice South Africa’s new Constitution (Chapter 3) divides the state into three spheres (not tiers): central, provincial and local government. According to the Constitution, intergovernmental relations are to be co-operative: each sphere’s autonomy must be ‘respected’. Local governments also have to work with their provincial authorities. Although the Constitution preserves the principle of co-operative government, it does not penalise non-compliance. Indeed, it can be argued that such penalties would contradict the very spirit of the legislation. The South African model drew directly on the German federal model, in which there are sixteen states with considerable autonomy and a regional assembly (Landtag) and where regional governments are more active than the national government in economic planning (Kesselman, Krieger & Joseph 2004). The provincial executive includes the provincial ministers or Members of the Executive Councils (MECs), while the legislature oversees the work of the executive and must approve annual budgets. In some cases the Executive Council may be at loggerheads with the legislature (as in the case of unpopular, externally imposed premiers such as Nosimo Balindlela). In theory, the legislature can call the executive to account for the performance of its duties. However, the effectiveness of the legislature, the degree to which resolutions are followed up, the impact of public participation processes, the vigour of the oversight function, relations with the
National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and with local and national government and the separation of powers have all been disputed (Simeon & Murray 2001). As Van Niekerk (2008: 156) explains:
The Constitution of South Africa of 1996 provided that health, social security and welfare were designated as Schedule Four Functions, which meant they were to be concurrent responsibilities of the national and provincial governments. The spheres of responsibility were that the national government established the policy-framework including norms and standards, while the provincial and local government levels were responsible for delivery of programmes. This separation of policy-making from implementation between national government and the nine new provincial governments failed to consider the extent to which provinces with Bantustan legacies such as the Eastern Cape would be institutionally undermined in their ability to implement new policies. They also failed to consider the extent of the challenges for social policy in overcoming such legacies.
Yet, to operationalise ‘concurrency’ is not easy due to uncertain cut-off points. The allocation of tasks, jurisdictional overlaps and haziness give rise to disputes over who does what and, more importantly, who pays for what. It leads to duplication of services, poor co-ordination, failed services, unfunded mandates, lack of transparency and blame-shifting and confusion among citizens. The ANC dominates in all spheres of governance and it shapes intergovernmental relationships by its level of internal cohesion, by its deployments and by its alliance politics and party diktat. The amended Public Service Act of 1998 gives more power to provincial MECs to organise their departments and hire and dismiss their employees (Adair & Albertyn 2000).
Revenue share in theory In South Africa, national revenue is divided between central, provincial and local government (a vertical division) and then geographically allocated between provinces (a horizontal division). South Africa’s nine new provincial governments together receive almost half of the national budget. In 2006 the National Treasury directly transferred R183 billion to provinces (43 per cent of nationally raised revenue). Provinces receive this amount as unconditional, discretionary grants (National Treasury 2006), which they apportion between sectors (education,
health, housing and so on). Provincial government departments have significant autonomy regarding the production of their own strategic plans and budgets, although they have to account for their expenditure of funds. The amount received by each province, called a provincial equitable share (PES), is worked out according to an ‘equity’ formula, but the key factor in the formula’s weighting is population (see Van Niekerk in Chapter 3 in this volume). An independent Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) oversees the division of revenue and makes recommendations. In 2006/7, for example, KwaZulu-Natal obtained R33 billion, Gauteng R27 billion and the EC R23 billion. Provincial share of national revenue decreased from 43.9 per cent in 2001/2 to 42.6 per cent in 2006/7, while local government share doubled – from 3 per cent in 2001 to 6 per cent by 2007 (National Treasury 2006). Social services (education, health and social welfare services) made up three quarters of provincial spending in 2006/7. The federal fiscal system adopted in the 1996 Constitution means provinces are to be held responsible for using the block grants they receive and to make their own decisions about sectoral allocations. The Treasury has warned that it will not bail out provinces in order to ‘reduce moral hazard’ (National Treasury 2006: 5).
Recent criticisms of fiscal federalism Three major criticisms of the architecture of the intergovernmental system will be mentioned at this stage. First, delegation of responsibility means that decisions about how much money to allocate within a province to health, for example, is no longer a national decision (McIntyre et al. 2001). As Barbara Hogan, acting Minister of Health in 2009, noted: ‘15 years onwards, what we find is a situation in which you have a national department and nine almost autonomous [provincial] departments. How do you get a united vision of what our priorities are?’ (cited in Isaacs 2009). Second, there are serious concerns about inadequate funding for the poorest provinces since the equity formula underestimates deprivation (McIntyre et al. 2001). The different kinds of poverty, cost structures and economies of scale that prevail in different provinces have not been taken into account in the PES formula. Third, there is a significant degree of competition and duplication between provinces (Erwin 2003). Such competition (succinctly termed ‘enclavism’ by the South African Communist Party [SACP]) is discussed more extensively in Chapter 8 of this book.
The difficult birth of the Eastern Cape and its structural impediments The idea of an ‘Eastern Cape’ as a separate province was born in September 1993, after the CDDR, which had sat for six weeks in June and July, made a final proposal for nine provinces. This was not an easy decision:
The most contentious of the commission’s recommendations was the decision to split the old Cape Province into three new entities. The commission believed that the interests of people living in the Eastern Cape may be better served if they had a specific province, rather than for them to be amalgamated with the Western Cape and its diverse interests (De Villiers 2007: 10).
Different political parties submitted proposals for a future map. The NP called for the Transkei and Ciskei and the East London area to be delimited as a separate tenth province. Business, the DP and the NP opposed the idea of a larger, single province which would include the fiercely pro-ANC, overpopulated and poor Ciskei and Transkei (Humphries, Rapoo & Friedman 1994). They argued that the Port Elizabeth–Uitenhage area was distinct from the Border–Kei region. To complicate matters further, the Transkei’s bureaucracy also agitated for the former Bantustan to be a tenth province, while white municipalities of the northern part of the EC fought to be included into the Orange Free State (Muthien & Khosa 1995). The ANC wanted the Bantustans dismantled and incorporated into a larger EC, which would include Port Elizabeth (Khosa & Muthien 1998). The CDDR pushed for a larger EC Province but a separate Western Cape (WC) Province – a proposal which won by a mere 8-to-7 majority vote. The Commission warned, however, that the proposed EC’s ‘economic base may not be adequate to meet fiscal requirements for adequate social and physical infrastructure . . . [The EC] had intra-regional disparities; its future would depend on two nodes . . . Port Elizabeth and East London’ (CDDR 1993: 3). As many have since argued, the newly born EC inherited the poorest populations, the most burdens and the worst structural problems of the country (Lodge 1999; Pickard 2001; Van Niekerk 2008).
An incoherent provincial civil service Unlike other provinces, the EC incorporated two Bantustans, which together had
more than 50 000 civil servants who would have to be absorbed into the new administration. With no uniform systems and records, a bloated civil service,
vested interests of subregional elites (e.g., the Mthatha-based bureaucracy which had advocated for Transkei to be a tenth province) and 20 000 ‘ghost workers’, the first years of administration under Raymond Mhlaba (premier from 1994 to 1997) proved formidable (Peires 2009; Pickard 2001). Moreover, in many parts of the EC, administration had collapsed and reliable information for planning and asset registers were lacking (Lodge 2002). Pervasive personal insecurity undermined trust. Bantustan officials threatened to sabotage a new administration if they were not given secure jobs and a slice of power. Civil servants looted the state and a postal workers’ strike threw the Transkei into semi-revolt. The EC was given very little administrative infrastructure from the WC: ‘It got nothing except a hospital depot in Port Elizabeth,’ as Peires (2009: 3) put it. Thus ‘in 1995 the province was experiencing administrative problems, civil service strikes and a high level of corruption . . . and tensions existed between the new and old civil servants’.6 An editorial in the Daily Dispatch (17 October 1997) noted:
Fridays and paydays are unofficial holidays for thousands of officials. Supernumeraries occupy offices, use the telephones and distract those who have work to do. Ghosts haunt the payrolls in uncounted numbers. Lights go out in schools which have not paid their bills. Consultants and contractors beg for cheques.
The ANC also had to create a unified party in the newly demarcated province. After all, it also had three separate sub-provincial structures (Transkei, Border and Port Elizabeth) that had not co-operated as a unit before the new EC was formed (Peires 2009). These intra-provincial differences later fed into factional struggles and the unseating of the province’s first premier, Raymond Mhlaba – which compounded cliqueism that continues to haunt the province. Even the choice of Bisho as the new capital was revealing. The erstwhile capital of the Ciskei and 60 kilometres away from East London, Bisho had been chosen as the compromise provincial capital to placate various powerful interests wrenching the new province apart. But it was an unsuitable if not dreadful location for any government.7 The MEC for Finance drove up to 12 000 km per month.8 By 1998 (at the end of Premier Mhlaba’s term of office), the EC government was still struggling to get off the ground with a litany of fiascos.9 But by 2004, ANC Alliance factionalism in the province became full-blown (see Hoeane in Chapter 5 in this volume). Secretive, evasive and unaccountable to the public, the elite craved the stage-managed press conferences and quick wins partly because long-term careers in the unstable EC government and in its con-
spiratorial political milieu were not a prospect. The Balindlela premiership (2004– 8) produced endless plans and annual summits – all organised by outsourced consultants who would write government vetted assessments a few years later. Practicing their own politics of scale, they often denied responsibility for what happened in the province by shifting blame on to national or local government.
Efflux of skilled people and urban–rural dynamics
A second set of structural issues – perhaps fundamental – was about attracting and keeping skilled persons in the province. Historically the role of Bantustans, especially the Transkei, was to supply cheap labour. In the 1970s and 1980s about 500 000 Transkei migrants worked in the Transvaal and Orange Free State mines (Ngonini 2007). A decline in the mining industry in the late 1980s brought shattering consequences. This was especially true for the Transkei Wild Coast (Lusikisiki, Bizana and Flagstaff), where about 20 per cent of local income used to come from miners’ remittances (Banks & Minkley 2005). Many talented, skilled and healthy persons left the province for work in Cape Town or Johannesburg. Migrant workers tended to leave their dependants (children, the elderly and the sickly) at ‘home’ in the EC while providing labour power to provinces like Gauteng and the WC (Ngonini 2007). In a perverse way (as the cheap-labour thesis argues), the EC subsidised the other provinces by partly covering the costs of labour reproduction that would otherwise have been paid by capital in host provinces such as Gauteng. Partly because of its location and partly because of its poor reputation, the EC had difficulty attracting and retaining skilled persons. Most job adverts in the province attracted very poor applicants or none at all. Losing its skilled people intensified the EC’s dilemmas. Thus, when it received state funds, it often could not manage the funds or spend them. In 2007, the national government took back R500 million in conditional grants from the EC government – money ringfenced for housing for the poor in the EC after over a decade of failure by the provincial housing department to hire the necessary engineers, managers, town planners and building inspectors to build houses for the poor (see De Nobrega in Chapter 17 in this volume). Migration flows were strongest to the WC and Gauteng but have been underestimated (Stats SA 2008). The EC’s share of the total South African population declined from 14.4 per cent in 2001 to 13.5 per cent in 2008 (Stats SA 2008). In 2008, population projections by Statistics South Africa suggested ‘that the EC has even a lower growth rate than previously estimated’ (2008: 9). The EC
has a projected population growth of 4 per cent from 1997 to 2010, compared to the WC, with a 15 per cent projected growth over the same period (SAIRR 2007). Those who moved away were younger (mostly between 15 and 29 years), better educated than the average, and had higher income than the average (Kok & Aliber 2005). EC rural areas lost their former urban linkages and support; more EC women migrated to find jobs in other provinces (Ngonini 2007). Despite a large spike in migration out of the EC, the disincentives to migrate are the harsh conditions of life in WC informal settlements (fires, winter rains, TB, crime and insecurity and xenophobic reactions). Population projections showed a gradual slowing of migration from the EC to the WC (Groenewald 2008).
Demography, poverty and death
The third ‘challenge’ – as many deep problems have been euphemistically called – revolves around the disproportionate number of very poor people, unemployed people, children and elderly people and female-headed households in the EC compared to other provinces. In 2004 the EC had proportionately more grant beneficiaries than other provinces, with 421 000 pensioners and 308 000 disability grantees (Balindlela 2005). While Limpopo has a higher percentage of poor people than the EC, the EC has higher absolute numbers of poor. The unemployment rate in EC is twice that of the WC (32 per cent versus 15 per cent by the strict definition; see SAIRR 2007). Although the EC has only 14 per cent of the South African population, it has 18.3 per cent of the country’s learners (National Treasury 2006). Poor people in the EC Province numbered 4.7 million, exceeding the entire WC population (using the 2001 Census figure). More people die in the EC than elsewhere in South Africa. Its infant mortality rate in 1998 was 61.2 per thousand live births, compared to 45.4 for the country as a whole (SAIRR 2001). The under-five mortality rate also worsened to 93 per 1 000 births in 2006, from 73 per 1 000 births in 2003. By 2010 the EC will account for 43 per cent of South Africa’s AIDS deaths (SAIRR 2008).
Logistics and geography
A further set of material-geographical differences from other provinces is distance and the population, which in the EC is spread over many decaying small towns and rural village-style settlements; hence the lack of agglomeration economies and higher transport costs (also because of poor roads) in servicing rural areas. These issues come up repeatedly in higher service-delivery costs in the EC than
for other provinces. Distance and dispersed populations increase the costs of providing education, water and health. Consider education as an illustration. The EC had 6 239 schools in 2004, compared to the WC’s 1 454 (National Treasury 2006), which meant that the EC had to administer four times more schools that were considerably more dispersed over a wider territory that was not blessed with good roads. The geographical ‘reach’ of the state is clearly weaker in the EC than it is in other provinces.
Like most of South Africa, the EC is going through a period of intense new class formation, but this class formation is starting from a low base in a poor province where most opportunities are still in white hands. High political office in the ANC can translate into rapid upward social mobility and control of limited patronage resources. Deep rivalries linked to class formation (see Hoeane in Chapter 5 in this volume) within and between parties now defy any ideological lines; they also divide the civil service, as well as different towns and sections from one another. A final set of weaknesses is that the trade unions and civil society, although potentially powerful, lack political independence and are often co-opted by one or other faction (see Hesjedal in Chapter 6 and Desai in Chapter 12 in this volume).
Inequality between provinces: The Eastern Cape versus the Western Cape The social profiles of the EC and the WC underscore the argument that South Africa has a long way to go in solving deep spatial inequalities. To show just how unequal provinces are, I compare the social profile of the EC in 2005 with that of the WC and against national data; see Table 1.1. The choice of the WC as a benchmark is deliberate since the EC was carved out of the old Cape Province.10 There are chilling differences in conditions of life between the two provinces. Yet in the WC, inequality between the rich and poor is greater than in other provinces, despite a higher-than-average economic growth rate, perceived wealth creation and development (WC Province 2005). Using a multiple index of poverty (income, employment, education, health, living environment), Noble and Wright (2009) show that the EC by far has the highest number of most relatively deprived areas/data zones in South Africa. As shown in Figure 1.2, the former Bantustans (Ciskei and Transkei) exhibit the highest levels of relative deprivation (darkest-shaded areas).
Table 1.1 Eastern Cape profile versus Western Cape profile and national data. Eastern Cape Population (2006 estimate) Share of national population (2001) Population growth rate over 1997–2010 Average annual personal income (2005) Life expectancy at birth Under-five mortality rate (2007, per 1 000 live births) Households without water inside dwelling Number of AIDS deaths (2006)
Sources: SAIRR (2007); Stats SA (2008).
Western Cape 4 745 500 10% 15% R35 480 60.3 years 39 30.8% 11 922
National 47 390 900 100%
6 894 300 14.4% 4% R13 799 47.6 years 89 74.9% 39 987
R22 950 50.4 years 71 62.8% 393 777
Figure 1.2 Most deprived areas of the Eastern Cape Province.
Note: The lightest-shaded areas indicate the least deprived areas; the darkest-shaded areas are the most deprived. Source: Noble & Wright (2009).
In absolute terms the deprivation levels in the EC have declined only slightly between 2001 and 2007 (Noble & Wright 2009). The province’s very uneven geographical development is acknowledged by government. As Transport MEC Thobile Mhlahlo noted:
The economy of the Eastern Cape is characterised by extreme levels of uneven development: the two urban industrial manufacturing centres and the poverty-stricken and underdeveloped rural hinterland, particularly in the former homeland areas of the Transkei and Ciskei; a developed commercial farming sector and a floundering subsistence agricultural sector; and concentrations of fairly well developed and efficient social and economic infrastructure in the western parts of the province and its virtual absence in the east (Eastern Cape Transport Summit 2006: 1).
Tackling this uneven development is probably the province’s most important challenge. Economically, the EC is starkly split into east–west and inland–coastal divides. The coastline is the playground of the wealthy, while the economic hub is in its western half in the Port Elizabeth–Uitenhage complex (now the Nelson Mandela Metropole). Port Elizabeth (now Nelson Mandela Bay) produces 40 per cent of the province’s added value. In the east lies the former Bantustans, whose social features remain almost the same as before 1994 (internal EC differences are fully explored in Chapter 14 of this book).
Repositioning in the Eastern Cape It is self-evident that the EC province has far more problems than it can handle on its own, especially as interprovincial gaps are widening. What might be required is a concerted national plan, using national personnel and resources and greater sharing between sub-national entities – akin to a Marshall Plan. Let us briefly consider possible strengths of the EC. The EC is one of the liveliest provinces politically speaking, with huge potential for mobilising the people as active shapers of their destiny. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from the EC attend ANC political rallies; the province has the highest proportion and numbers of ANC members (see Hoeane in Chapter 5 in this volume), and its working class is highly unionised, with at least one quarter of a million unionised workers in seventeen affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).1 1 COSATU’s political weight is such that many
believe it can make or break a political leadership. Despite the relative economic backwardness of the EC working class, its rate of unionisation is much higher than in the WC, which had only 230 000 unionised members in 1999, compared to 223 000 members in the EC. It is a mistake to see the WC as the ‘centre’ and the EC as a ‘peripheral’ province, just as it is mistake to deduce politics from economics. The strong opposition to apartheid in the 1980s is a key historical feature in the EC: more than a third of the political prisoners in South Africa came from the EC region (Coleman & Webster 1986). It was here that the apartheid state perpetrated some of its worst political massacres, among them the deaths of the ‘Cradock Four’ and the ‘Pebco Three’ and the ‘Bisho Massacre’. Growing resistance inside the Transkei – strikes by civil servants and student boycotts – also marked a turning point in South African politics. In the late 1970s, a new kind of community-linked trade unionism developed in the East London– Mdantsane area, where the South African Allied Workers Union (SAAWU), one of the most militant unions of the 1980s, organised bus and consumer boycotts. Although trade unions were banned in the Ciskei, the resistance continued with demands that Mdantsane,12 15 kilometres outside East London (a ‘dormitory’ town of one million people in the Ciskei), be reintegrated into a unitary South Africa.
Conclusions There are many who argued that the formation of nine provinces in South Africa had no principled basis and predicted that it would create many problems for the incoming ANC. The ‘great compromise’ made with De Klerk was to surrender to a form of state that would ensure the ANC kept tying itself up in knots. The foundations of the state need to be rebuilt. The gerrymandering of politico-administrative entities was calculated to weaken the ANC and permit the NP to rule the WC Province (with its 55 per cent majority coloured population, 25 per cent whites and 19 per cent Africans) and the Northern Cape. The real ‘Boerestaat’, as Picard (2001) acerbically noted, was the new WC. It had grown out of the Eiselin–Verwoerd project as a space without Africans.13 Evidence internationally shows that devolution increases regional inequality (Rodriguez-Pose & Gill 2004). While interprovincial gaps are widening, solutions at a larger scale seem appropriate. Moreover, interprovincial competition means advantages already held by stronger provinces increase at the expense of others.
Major failures arise around overlapping powers, leading to incoherence, waste and blame shifting between different levels of the state (SACP 2008; see especially De Nobrega in Chapter 17 in this volume). The ‘great compromise’, struck in 1993 and later cemented in the Constitution, required the ANC to renege on some of its long-standing centralist proclivities and water down its commitment to a strong, unitary and non-racial state and ultimately to efficient service delivery to the poor. As Maasdorp warned, ‘wrongly planned regions are a recipe for disastrous and violent dissipation along ethnic, racial and party political lines’ (cited in CDDR 1993). In 2007, the ANC government’s review of provinces noted:
There is broad agreement that the spatial inequalities created by apartheid remain starkly apparent within and between the nine provinces, with areas in former homelands the most vulnerable. Research also confirms that complex patterns of migration, economic activity and settlement formation are shaping this spatial reality . . . confirm(ing) the importance of a spatial understanding of development (DPLG 2008: 2; emphasis added).
The South African population, by relocating between provinces, is eroding the original apartheid spatial patterns and the provinces as designed in 1993. Citizens are confounding the system by crossing borders to other provinces, contesting which province they belong to and demanding services there even if they come from another province. The rise of xenophobia, demarcation disputes, servicedelivery riots, informal settlements and regional racism and chauvinism is a clear warning about the unsustainable nature of uneven development in South Africa.
1. For a critique of the assumption of primordial ethnic cleavages and the need for ethnicbased power sharing, see Taylor (1992). See also Seekings and Nattrass (2004) for the salience of a class-based analysis of South African society. Pluralists debated a suitable federal system to ‘manage ethnic diversity’ (Adam 1986), while non-racialists stressed the unitary character of South Africa. There was also important work done on the Western Cape and its engineered coloured regional identity (Goldin 1987), while the ‘KwaZulu-Natal option’ (Mare 1987) concretised a federal option. 2. Bertus de Villiers was technical adviser to the CDDR in 1993. 3. The notorious coloured labour preference policy, which split Africans and Western Cape coloureds by giving coloureds priority in employment in the western part of the Cape Province (the Eiselin line coincided with the Gamtoos River, west of Port Elizabeth), was partly reinstated through demarcation. By the time of the 1994 elections,
the Western Cape had been de-Africanised: the African population had dwindled to 19 per cent compared to an average 75 per cent in the rest of South Africa (Giliomee 1994). The artificial nature of the Western Cape’s engineered coloured majority and the fallacy of presenting ‘regional interests’ as innocent is self-evident here. 4. The invented EC is 87 per cent Xhosa-speaking; KwaZulu-Natal, 80 per cent Zuluspeaking; Limpopo, 52 per cent Sesotho-speaking; the Western Cape, 55 per cent Afrikaans-speaking and with a majority of coloureds and a relatively large population of whites. 5. The North West region in the CDDR map is larger than the development region ‘J’ and combines most of Bophuthatswana in one region, compared to the separation of the homeland in the DBSA map. Another difference is on the EC–Natal border, where East Griqualand and Umzimkhulu have been placed in the EC region rather than in Natal. By contrast, the DBSA map placed the whole northern Transkei into Natal (Muthien & Khosa 1995). 6. Thozamile Botha, EC Director General, cited in ‘Shock as Botha decides to quit’, Daily Dispatch, 16 October 1997. 7. Billy Nel, the MEC for finance, spent R1 000 a day in taxpayers’ money travelling to work at R9 per km (‘Two MECs spend R1 million for own cars’, Eastern Cape Herald, 25 January 2006). For one year, he claimed R500 000 in local travel allowances (almost equal to his salary). 8. See ‘Two MECs spend R1 million . . .’, Eastern Cape Herald, 25 January 2006. 9. See Pickard (2005: 317–19) for a detailed account. 10. Had the old Cape Province been retained, the social and economic statistical profile and common resource pool of such a region would have been very different. Of course, the DA would not have the edge it now enjoys in the WC. 11. Quoted in Daily Dispatch, 17 May 2006. 12. For a comprehensive account of contemporary Mdantsane, see Banks and Makubalo (2005). 13. See McDonald (2009) for an analysis of the ‘de-Africanising’ of Cape Town.
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