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Local contestation around a flagship urban housing project: N2 Gateway and the Joe Slovo community in Cape Town Paper to be presented at EADI-DSA 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Local contestation around a flagship urban housing project: N2 Gateway and the Joe Slovo community in Cape Town Paper to be presented at EADI-DSA 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Local contestation around a flagship urban housing project: N2 Gateway and the Joe Slovo community in Cape Town Paper to be presented at EADI-DSA 2011 Conference September in York, UK for the session Reconfiguring the fast growing city: Exploring the interaction between urban governance, megaprojects and settlement dynamics in cases from India and South Africa David Jordhus-Lier, senior researcher Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR)

2 N2 Gateway: a mega-project?
Flagship project of the 2004 national government housing policy Breaking New Ground 22,000 housing units for people marginalised in the housing market Upgrading/removal of highly visible informal settlements along the N2 highway Link to growth objectives: The 2010 World Cup and Cape Town’s identity as a tourist destination Complex collaborative venture between all tiers of government and private contractors: ANC/DA party politics and tiers of government Problems with contracts and responsibilities Community resistance

3 Joe Slovo and the N2 Gateway Project

4 A political analysis from a settlement perspective
An intensely contested and delayed process which has created a whole set of political dynamics Main issues: eligibility criteria quality of housing lack of communication use of local labour

5 TIMELINE - Joe Slovo and N2 Gateway (2004-2011)
August 2004 Breaking New Ground housing policy launched by the National Department of Housing September 2004 N2 Gateway plans are presented to the Joe Slovo residents through the local media 15 January 2005 Shack fire in Joe Slovo renders people homeless 13 February 2005 Thubelisha Homes, a national agency, is appointed as project managers of N2 Gateway 14 February 2005 Sobambisana Consortium wins the call for proposals and becomes developers of N2 Gateway Phase I June 2006 The City of Cape Town is removed from its implementing role in the N2 Gateway project N2 Gateway Phase II is launched September 2006 People move into N2 Gateway Phase I in Joe Slovo November 2006 Residents of Phase I form a committee July 2007 Phase I residents march to Parliament Rent boycott in Phase I 3 August Joe Slovo informal settlement residents march to Parliament to protest planned forced removals 10 September 2007 Joe Slovo Task Team, Abahlali baseMjondolo and WC Anti-Eviction Campaign with residents occupy N2 highway 20 September 2007 Thubelisha secures an eviction order of Joe Slovo residents from Cape High Court 12 December 2007 Postponed hearing of the case in Cape High Court, after a series of community complaints Delft residents occupy unfinished N2 Gateway houses in Delft February 2008 Cape High court orders eviction of Delft occupants of N2 Gateway houses March 2008 Cape High court orders eviction of Joe Slovo informal settlement dwellers in preparation for Phase II August 2008 Hearing of the Joe Slovo case in the Constitutional Court May 2009 The Auditor-General releases a critical report on the N2 Gateway Project June 2009 Phase I residents march to the Premier's office to demand changes in the project's management August 2009 Constitutional Court orders a negotiated relocation in the case of Residents, Joe Slovo Community Western Cape v Thubelisha Homes and Others 1 March 2011 N2 Gateway Phase III construction of 2886 units in Joe Slovo begins 31 March 2011 Constitutional Court discharged its own eviction order due to ‘exceptional circumstances’

6 Joe Slovo after 2005 shack fire

7 Temporary relocation area ’Blikkiesdorp’
N2 highway blockade

8 N2 Gateway Phase I & II

9 Dimensions of contestation and engagement
High level of collective mobilization Protests, occupations, blockade Community-driven planning Low level of collective mobilization Apathy, vandalism, patronage Legal process Dis-engagement Engagement

10 Phases of contestation and engagement
Confrontational mobilisation. Resistance, occupation, illegality; staunchly autonomous; but also attempts to link to broader social movement mobilisation; creating publicity and space for engagement. Process-oriented resistance. Legal processes (resisting evictions, fighting charges`); with legal NGO support; achieving partial victories. Knowledge-based engagement. Based on cooperation with local and translocal support NGOs, linking up with metropolitan governance (CoCT), not related directly to N2 Gateway, creating a basis for engagement and community influence; participatory planning and empowering community knowledge.

11 References Interviews with CSO, NGO and City of Cape Town representatives. Various documentation from the Constitutional Court, the City of Cape Town and the Chance2Sustain project. Adlard, G. (2008). Are informal settlements a housing solution? Is anyone responsible or accountable for informal settlements? What is the future of informal settlements in Cape Town? And other leading questions. Paper presented to the South African International Housing Conference. Cape Town: 1-9. Baud, I., K. Pfeffer, et al. (2011). Developing participatory 'spatial' knowledge models in metropolitan governance networks for sustainable development. Chance2Sustain Literature Review March Bonn, EADI: 1-19. Bolnick, A. (undated). From the Politics of Protest to the Politics of Redress. The Planning of a Sanitation Unit in a South African Slum. Cape Town, Community Organisation Resource Centre: 1-14. COHRE (2009). N2 Gateway Project: Housing Rights Violations As ‘Development’ In South Africa. Geneva, Switzerland, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions: 1-48. DAG (2007). Living on the edge: A study of the Delft Temporary Relocation Area. Cape Town, Development Action Group: 1-37. Department of Housing (2004). Breaking New Ground: A comprehensive plan for the development of sustainable human settlements. Department of Housing. Pretoria: 1-28. Eppel, S. (2007). "They come here and take our houses!": Community conflicts in Langa in the context of the housing crisis in Cape Town: 'Borners' against 'migrants'. Department of Sociology. Cape Town, University of Cape Town. MPhil in Development Studies:  Graham, N. (2006). Informal settlement upgrading in Cape Town: Challenges, constraints and contradictions within local government. Informal settlements: A perpetual challenge. M. Huchzermeyer and A. Karam. Cape Town, UCT Press: Kennedy, L., G. Robbins, et al. (2011). The politics of large-scale economic and infrastructure projects in fast-growing cities of the South. Chance2Sustain Literature Review March Bonn, EADI: 1-23. Legassick, M. (2008). Western Cape Housing Crisis: Writings on Joe Slovo and Delft. Cape Town, A Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and Socialist Alternative publication: 1-47. Millstein, M. and D. C. Jordhus-Lier (2011). Making communities work? Casual labour practices and local civil society dynamics in Delft, Cape Town. EADI Urban Governance Working Group workshop “Urban governance, vulnerability and resilience in cities in the South” Oslo 17 March 2011: 1-19. Miraftab, F. and S. Wills (2005). "Insurgency and spaces of active citizenship: The story of Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign in South Africa." Journal of Planning Education and Research 25: Smit, W. (2008). Le grand project N2 Gateway [The N2 Gateway mega-project]. Le Cap Après L’Apartheid [Cape Town After Apartheid]. A. Dubresson and S. Jaglin. Paris, Karthala: Stokke, K. and D. C. Lier (2008). Contesting neoliberalism: Spaces of democracy and post-apartheid social movements in South Africa. Forthcoming. Swilling, M. (2008). Beyond cooption and protest: Reflections on the FEDUP alternative. Consolidating Developmental Local Government. M. van Donk, M. Swilling, E. Pieterse and S. Parnell. Cape Town, UCT Press:

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