Brief 29: Race and Political Responsiveness in South Africa

In July 2011, emails were successfully sent to 1,229 black and white politicians from four South African provinces. Employing email as the method of communication was meant to control socioeconomic bias. Between group inequality is high in South Africa and unless given other indications, a councillor might assume a black constituent is poorer or less well educated than a white constituent. Having access to email and using grammatically correct English signified that constituents, regardless of race, were socioeconomically similar.

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