Mpumezo Ralo is currently a PhD student at the University of South Africa. He holds an MPhil in South African politics and political economy from the Nelson Mandela University. He also received an Honors degree in anthropology & sociology at the University of the Western Cape and a Bachelor’s from the same university. He co-published with Joleen Steyn-Kotze in 2014 “Bitter Battles and Factionalism: Assessing the impact of the post-Polokwane political contestations in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.” Ralo previously held positions as a researcher at Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the University of the Western Cape. He is a regular contributor to local and national newspapers for political analysis.
One of the critical aspects of BBBEE that has not been adequately examined thoughtfully within local government is the question of economic inclusion in the City's mainstream economy and whether it has significantly changed the patterns of ownership. It will do so by evaluating the success or failure of BBBEE in creating economic inclusion or changing patterns of capitalist ownership. Most work focused on the extent of patronage and corrupt practices and local economic development (LED). The analysis will focus on the functioning of NMBM as a third sphere of government and on the forms of overt and concealed influences in the allocation of resources for patronage in the name of empowerment. The study will attempt to unpack and locate some of the aspects within the setting of NMBM. Arguably, the development of political patronage in the NMBM can be traced within the extended period of time that the ANC has been in charge of the city. It is argued that the prospects of political patronage and development of factionalism emerge in situations where political parties monopolize power for a very long time.