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White Politics at the End of the World

When: Wednesday, 29 July 2020 - Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Where: Online Event
Start time:13:00

Join a History Workshop webinar, White Politics at the End of the World: the Potgietersrus Town Council, 1986-1990, presented by Joel Pearson

In the 1980s, with the National Party moving towards forms of ‘power sharing’ and multiracial decision-making structures, the Conservative Party (CP) of Andries Treurnicht both capitalized on – and indeed enflamed – fears that the white Afrikaner way of life was under threat. The CP promised to fight for continuing social and political segregation, and staged a pitched battle against NP politicians throughout the decade. Nowhere was this battle fought more vociferously than in the northern Transvaal. 

In this chapter (a work in progress), I examine how local municipalities of the region were drawn into these battles and directed the course of political change towards a rigid conservatism in localities. In particular, I consider developments at the Potgietersrus Municipality, which came to be dominated by CP Councillors fighting tooth-and-nail for the maintenance of a ‘whites-only’ town. This work forms one of the opening chapters of a dissertation covering the transition to democracy as it unfolded in the area that today falls under the Mogalakwena Local Municipality.


Joel Pearson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the Wits University. He has a fellowship with the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and is an associate of the History Workshop. Prior to doctoral research, Joel conducted research on local municipalities in Limpopo Province as part of a team of researchers at PARI, publishing work on the Mogalakwena and Lephalale municipalities.

Join meeting from 13h00. Seminar starts promptly at 13h15

This seminar will take place via the videoconferencing software, Zoom
Register at the link:
You will then be sent an email with confirmation and instructions on how to join the webinar


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