News & events

Press Releases

19 March 2018

HSRC study in Vuwani holds meaningful lessons for public engagement and service delivery

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Coming ahead of Human Rights Day, the Human Sciences Research Council will on Tuesday 20 March 2018 launch the results of its exploratory study in Vuwani, Limpopo following the outbreak of violent protests over municipal demarcation which brought the community to a standstill.

The study aimed to investigate the drivers of violence and conflict over the municipal boundaries in Vuwani. It also aimed to understand the socio-economic and psychosocial impact of the violence on the communities, their learning activities and everyday life.

The launch of the results of this study are timely since South Africa stands at a cusp of many positive developments with the change of guard in the leadership of our country. To ensure this opportunity can be used efficiently and positively, it is important to interrogate what has worked and not worked well in the past in terms of governance, community engagement and service delivery.

A multistakeholder panel including representatives from COGTA, SALGA, the Municipal Demarcation Board, media and academics will be given an opportunity to respond to the case study to be presented. 

It is expected that the study will provide valuable lessons to state and non-state actors about how to engage citizens and government in an effective and efficient way to ensure that all parties can benefit and have their needs met.

Media is invited as follows:
Date        :        Tuesday 20 March 2018
Time        :        12h30
Venue        :        Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town

Cape Town
HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town

The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea
Contact: Ridhwaan Khan on 031 242 5400, 083 788 2786 or email:, or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria.
Contact Arlene Grossberg on 012 302 2811 e-mail:

Join the conversation at #HSRC
Interviews can be facilitated with the research team.
Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

About the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB)

The Municipal Demarcation Board is an independent authority responsible for the determination of municipal boundaries. The Board’s status as an independent authority is also protected by section 3 of The Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998, and various judgments by the Constitutional Court.

The Board determines municipal boundaries in accordance with the Municipal Demarcation Act and other appropriate legislation enacted in terms of Chapter 7 of the Constitution, and must render an advisory service in respect of matters provided for in this act and other appropriate legislation (MDA Section 4).
The Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 provides that the Board is a juristic person, is independent and must be impartial and must perform its function without fear, favour or prejudice (MDA sec 3).
The Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998 provides the framework for the establishment of municipalities in accordance with the requirements and criteria relating to categories and types of municipalities. It further determines the appropriate division of powers and functions between categories of district and local municipalities and regulates governance structures, the electoral system for local government, and the delimitation of wards for local elections.

Join the conversation at:


For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Manusha Pillai

Mobile:  082 389 3587