Protest and Participation in Durban: A Focus on Cato Manor, Merebank and Wentworth

Mottiar, S. 2014. ‘Protest and Participation in Durban: A Focus on Cato Manor, Merebank and Wentworth. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, Volume 41,  Issue 3, pages 371-385.

This paper considers how Durban citizens understand protest and what other methods of participation they employ in their pursuit of service delivery, democratic citizenship and social change. It is based on a sample of 20 households drawn from Cato Manor, a ‘hotspot’ for ‘service delivery’ protest as well as Merebank and Wentworth situated in the South Durban basin well known for its civil society/community opposition to local petrochemical refineries.

The paper employs theories of ‘invited’ and ‘invented’ spaces of participation and ‘participation as citizenship’ to understand protest and participation among Durban’s low-income, urban citizens. It argues that protest and formal participation methods are used in parallel, but with differing levels of intensity across communities depending on how people view agency and democratic citizenship. The paper also considers the role of social movements and non-governmental organisations, arguing that their initiatives to effect ‘transformative’ participation have their limits.

Available from Politikon [sub required].

Photo via Mister E



Publication Type Journal article
Publisher Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies
Year 2014
Author(s) Shauna Mottiar
Other Numbers Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 371-385
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