, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 263–272 | Cite as

Engendering local government in post-apartheid South Africa – Experiences of female councillors in Durban (1996–2000)

  • Nuthan Maharaj
  • Brij Maharaj


This paper examines the participation of women in local government in the Durban Metro Area in the post-apartheid era. The primary purpose is to ascertain the degree of representation of women in local government structures and their influence on decision-making processes. The paper further attempts to determine the gender sensitivity of the male counterparts and their level of collaboration with female councillors. The gendered needs of women in local government and the various problems they experienced in office are highlighted. Finally, strategies to increase the participation of women in local government as well as to eradicate impediments, which they encounter, are advocated. The paper revealed that women have been under-represented in local government. Women who are elected into local government are discriminated against on grounds of gender and often race. They tend to be side-lined and marginalised in decision-making and in positions of power.

local politics female councillors Durban post-apartheid South Africa 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nuthan Maharaj
    • 1
  • Brij Maharaj
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Development StudiesUniversity of Kwazulu-NatalSouth Africa (
  2. 2.Centre for Civil SocietySchool of Development Studies (Durban) and Geography Discipline, University of NatalPietermaritzburg

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