From the leafy banks of the Eerste River in Stellenbosch to the littered pavements of Riverside in the Free State town of Phuthaditjhaba, the way in which people look at local politics is changing.

Take property professional Bertus Swanepoel. He isn’t a politician, but a few weeks ago he was persuaded to run as an independent candidate for Stellenbosch ward 7 in the local government elections. It’s an area that includes established and affluent neighbourhoods such as Mostertsdrift and some of the university residences...

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