Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 00:00

Join Veronica Ehrenreich-Risner [author], Aran MacKinnon, and Norman Etherington debating Bantu Authorities. Moderated by Tokelo Nhlapo. Happening on Wednesday, 22 June 2022. Click here to register.

What is the system of Bantu Authorities (BA)? Why and how did the Dept manufacture BA consent? Why did the Dept use ethnos as the BA linchpin?  What was the prime goal of BA? How did BA articulate with labor? How did BA work on the ground in Mthunzini? Does BA engender repression, even today?

In Bantu Authorities: Apartheid’s System of Race and Ethnicity, Ehrenreich-Risner provides the first holistic study of the Bantu Authorities [BA] system that implemented rural apartheid. Based on more than sixty interviews with Zulus and former commissioners and archival research, Bantu Authorities examines the means by which apartheid-era South Africa used ethnos theory to establish nominally independent homelands for the purpose of controlling rural black populations. Furthermore, Bantu Authorities demonstrates how these seemingly indigenous structures undermined traditional leadership to support the central state’s desire to reduce administrative costs and secure cheap labor, questioning the benefits of majority rule to rural Africans given BA structures under the TLGFA 41/2003.


Book Cover


Bio of speakers:

Veronica Ehrenreich-Risner [Author] – CSU Sacramento, History. 2019 Silas Palmer Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Select Pubs: ‘Bantu Authorities in Mthunzini District, KwaZulu: Removals during Apartheid’ Journal of Southern African Studies; ‘Reading Geographical Names as Text: Refiguring the “Living Archive” in Postcolonial South Africa’ American Archivist. https://www.history.ucsb.edu/alumni/veronica-ehrenreich/

Aran MacKinnon - Chair and Professor of History and Geography, Georgia College and State University. Author of numerous refereed publications on the history of Southern Africa. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Aran_Mackinnon

Norman Etherington – Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Western Australia. Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Historical Society (UK) and the Royal Geographical Society. Member of the Order of Australia for service to history [2014].  He has written widely on the history of Southern Africa, the British Empire and European Imperialism.

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