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UNU-WIDER Is There Such a Thing as a Post-Apartheid City?

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WP/48 Is There Such a Thing as a Post-Apartheid City?

In an introductory section, this paper considers briefly the achievements and problems of urban governance in post-apartheid South Africa through an assessment of three categories: administrative reform, developmental issues and conflicts over service delivery issues. It then goes on to assess continuity and change in South African cities. Continuity is the norm in understanding urban history with change understood as a series of accretions and as a layering of features, unless major economic shifts or revolutionary political shifts are in place. Using the example of Durban, a series of changes is highlighted, which fit into what the deracialized growth path allows and encourages. The paper argues that thus far, the ANC government has shown little capacity or desire to discipline capital along the lines suggested, for instance, by the reconstruction and development programme’s section on public transport. Larger changes are thus limited by the predilections and established discourses of the business world and the absence of more dynamic and structured public intervention.
WIDER Working Paper
WP/48 Is There Such a Thing as a Post-Apartheid City?
Bill Freund
Publication date:
May 2010
ISBN 13 Web:
Copyright holder:
Copyright year:
urban studies, Durban, South Africa, local government, private-public
R0, R1
Development in an Urban World
UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges the financial contributions to its research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
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