Historically, the struggles fought against an unjust and undemocratic state included the formation of community structures based on the concept of 'people's power.' In South African communities, the traditional forums for public participation included 'imbizos
, lekgotlas and bosberaads'.
The most creative example of taking care to the people is Dr Allie Pillay's community imbizos
where he publicly conducts tooth extractions, resulting in an immediately increased patient load.
That is, while physically remote, the South African Presidency has been able to project the image of a direct relationship with the mass public by using its institutional advantages to make news, hold widely publicised presidential imbizos
with groups of citizens, and gain positive coverage through its intimate relationship with the presidential press pool and an increasingly docile state broadcaster.
Extensive consultation with the amakhosi, indunas, women's groups, community leaders plus imbizos
at churches, schools and NGO sites had led to the formation of community research groups that now met regularly to discuss the impending study.