IGU Urban Commission, Canterbury, 2011


Simphiwe E Mini

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Department of Geography, University of South Africa(UNISA), South Africa


Post-Apartheid Cities in Transformation for Social Justice and Sustainability


Transformation of South African cities displays symptoms that are characteristic of urban transformation in peripheral economies yet they have distinct features that are unique only to post-apartheid urban societies. This creates a very complex urban transformation process that defies any single interpretation or descriptive analysis of urban transformation in peripheral economies. In recent years post-apartheid cities have experienced transformation at several layers driven by different stakeholders applying a combination of forces to effect desired changes. The common objective of city transformation is, at least at a rhetoric level to achieve sustainability and social justice. The desire to achieve social justice is expressed in programmes driven by ideological and political commitments to eliminate all spatial elements of racial segregation in cities. State regulations and Urban Governance strategies are the main instruments used to achieve Social Justice. The commitment to achieve sustainability is expressed in the commitment to accelerate the implementation of pro-poor programmes for poverty reduction through economic growth and development. The overall sustainability of Cities is the main focus of these activities. However in the context of urban transformation driven by market forces in peripheral regions a new form of social spatial segregation is emerging in South African cities. Whilst the new socio-spatial segregation reinforces racial based spatial segregation the emerging trend is driven by market economy albeit along racial lines. The purpose in this paper is to review the resulting spatial reorganisation of South African cities and reflect on the resulting new spatial patterns. New patterns of city structure are emerging reflecting inherent contradictions, competition and power positions of stakeholders operating within sustainability and social justice framework to achieve desired goals. The paper concludes by highlighting the position and dilemmas of the voiceless, marginalised poor communities in this contested urban social space


Mini.pdf  (3771 Ko)

Simphiwe.pdf  (403 Ko)

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