Redesigning our urban living spaces is as important as the reform and redistribution of agricultural land, says Max du Preez.
Cape Town – Residential segregation is the one facet of apartheid that South Africa has done virtually nothing to eliminate. This is utterly untenable 20 years after liberation.
Town and city planners simply continued in the apartheid paradigm after 1994. Most black people still live on the outer perimeters of our cities, while most of those inner city spaces that black people moved into, like Hillbrow in Joburg, quickly became slum areas.
New settlements, often not more than nasty squatter camps, arose many kilometres outside the business centres.
In the towns outside the metros, we still have the rigid segregation of the “white” town with the “location” on the other side of the railway track or the national road.
If we take the Second Transition that the government and the governing party are talking about seriously (and we should), we should now urgently take drastic steps to change this.
In my book, redesigning and re-imagining our urban living spaces is as important as the reform and redistribution of agricultural land.
Possibly more important: two-thirds of South Africans live in cities and towns and, as HSRC surveys in 2007 found, most of them have no interest in becoming farmers.