How do political parties shape urban movements in developing countries? This paper examines struggles for urban inclusion in two informal settlements within Johannesburg: Thembelihle and Motsoaledi. I argue that the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), fragmented and weakened these movements through four mechanisms: place-specific governance, electoral encouragement, co-optation, and fostering loyalty. Both responding to and prompting these mechanisms, activists in the two areas pursued divergent politics. Whereas activists in Thembelihle emphasized working-class solidarity and citywide opposition to the ANC, activists in Motsoaledi emphasized neighborhood solidarity and presented a narrower challenge to the ANC. Residents in both areas secured material concessions, but they failed to produce a unified and citywide movement. The two examples underscore the difficulty of building movements for urban inclusion when a single political party dominates civil society.

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