The Paradox of (De)politicisation in a Selected South African Municipality: An Afrocentric Ethical Reflection




Afrocentricity, [de]politicisation, Maruleng, Limpopo, South Africa.


South Africa’s local government administration is complex in that both traditional leadership and elected municipal councils play a role in it. Traditional leadership occupies an essential position and status in local government administration, in particular in rural South Africa. However, the contemporary administrative jurisdiction of municipalities cuts across both rural and urban areas. In the rural areas, the conflict over the division of roles between traditional leaders and elected councillors is evident. Due to the influence and dominance of the neo-liberal global order, modernists often accuse traditional leadership of being undemocratic and authoritarian. However, the reality is that elected councils’ administration also leaves much to be desired, and the consequences of their poor administration are not uniformly understood. Since South Africa is a democratic state, it is expected that there should be a clear separation in government institutions between party (i.e., the ruling African National Congress) politics and public administration; a phenomenon that some describe as depoliticisation. Nevertheless, the realities on the ground suggest otherwise. This article, which is based on the theory of Afrocentricity, examines a selected rural municipality (Maruleng) in South Africa’s Limpopo province to critically reflect on the ethics and the value system of African culture in the context of local governance vis-à-vis Westernised governance principles. The aim of this research is achieved through interdisciplinary critical discourse and thematic analysis in its broadest form.

Author Biography

Kgothatso B. Shai, University of Limpopo

HOD: Cultural & Political Studies



How to Cite

Shai, Kgothatso B. 2019. “The Paradox of (De)politicisation in a Selected South African Municipality: An Afrocentric Ethical Reflection”. Politeia 38 (2):12 pages.



Received 2019-03-28
Accepted 2020-02-24
Published 2019-12-31