Accepted paper:

Exploring a Charged Issue: Electricity in the Magistrates' Court

Authors:

Sarah-Jane Cooper-Knock (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the multiple cases of surrounding electricity access that entered the magistrates' court in Ntuzuma, South Africa.

Paper long abstract:

Exploring a Charged Issue: Electricity in the Magistrates' Court Electricity has long been a site of political contestation in South Africa. Access to electricity was imagined to be part of the 'Better Life for All' promised to South Africans at the transition from apartheid. In practice, many citizens today lack affordable access to this energy supply. This paper explores the multiple cases of surrounding electricity access that entered the magistrates' court in Ntuzuma, South Africa. It asks what insights they can provide into the way that the law (re)shapes people's relationships with each other and with the state. It also interrogates what the shifting legal framework around electricity access might mean for these relationships and the constellation of public and private actors tasked with making state ordering a reality.

panel P201
Contested justice: Legal and judicial pluralism in urban settings and renegotiations of the law from urban to rural domains