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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Native Advisory Boards in patriarchal East London, 1950-1970
Author:Atkinson, D.ISNI
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:local councils
Abstract:Native Advisory Boards were introduced in South Africa in an attempt to impose modern, disciplinary, formal patterns of order and authority on cities in flux. These institutions operated within a milieu of widespread confusion about the limitations and content of a patriarchal normative system embraced by white municipal officials. Black leaders accepted the patriarchal ethos but found themselves increasingly uneasy within it. The patriarchal order produced a complex system of power and powerlessness in the relationships between black and white municipal leaders. While the patriarchal ethos often drew African leaders uncomfortably close to the white 'city fathers', it also conferred significant informal and moral power on Advisory Board members. The application of paternalistic control to black communities was always problematic. There was a fundamental ambiguity regarding the role of Advisory Boards as representatives of African interests. In this regard there was ceaseless confusion about the relative importance of Africans' needs and interests, as opposed to their opinions and wishes. The functioning of the East London Advisory Board illustrates the unresolved and complex relationship between City Councils (and their officials) and Native Advisory Boards from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]