Township redevelopment in Cape Town, South Africa : transitioning from unilaterial decision-making to shared power
Author(s)Wagner, Julie K. (Julie Katherine), 1968-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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In 1994, the people of South Africa overwhelmingly voted the African National Congress (ANC) into power, officially ending over 40 years of apartheid rule. Apartheid, which successfully limited civil rights and opportunities for millions of Black Africans, Coloureds and Indians, transformed towns and cities across the country into the "Apartheid City." This spatial construct segregated South Africans by race, isolating millions of Black Africans from employment opportunities and limited their access to housing and infrastructure services. As part of the new ANC reconstruction agenda, local governments are directed to improve the lives of previously disadvantaged communities -- with new planning and development efforts defined as a crucial first step. Moreover, local governments are instructed by the ANC to involve communities in their efforts, allowing people to have "control over the reconstruction of their lives." Public involvement -- a range of strategies to involve and engage citizens in decision-making processes -- is one approach local governments are using to engage and share power with citizens. This thesis explores how local governments in Cape Town are working collaboratively with Black Africans as part of spatial planning and development initiatives in the townships. Since public involvement is a value-laden practice, this thesis explores the theories of two Cape Town planners that guided their public involvement initiatives. Two case studies, which focus exclusively on township redevelopment, are then analyzed, uncovering the techniques and tools used to engage Black Africans in planning. This thesis also evaluates the general practice of public involvement in Cape Town, drawing on information from four township planning projects, and interviews with planners, decision-makers, politicians, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, and the general public. The analysis presented in this thesis concludes that local governments are failing to effectively involve Black Africans in the decision making process, due to a series of institutional, cultural, and social barriers. While a host of barriers exist within government's institutional framework, power struggles at the community level are further complicating efforts to engage communities of color -- particularly the general public. As part of this thesis, a series of recommendations are offered to improve public involvement efforts in Black townships and successfully share power.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1999.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 81-84).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.