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The State of South African Cities a Decade after Democracy

Andrew Boraine, Owen Crankshaw, Carien Engelbrecht, Graeme Gotz, Sithole Mbanga, Monty Narsoo and Susan Parnell
Additional contact information
Andrew Boraine: Cape Town Partnership, The Terraces, 10th Floor, 34 Bree Street, 8001 Cape Town, South Africa
Owen Crankshaw: Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, Private Bag Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa,
Carien Engelbrecht: Cities Alliance, Postnet Suite 248, Private Bag X5, 2117 Norwood, South Africa. Fax: 011 214 2715,
Graeme Gotz: lead consultant on the 2004 Report,
Sithole Mbanga: time of the SACN launch and is in Johannesburg
Monty Narsoo: SA Cities Network, 158 Loveday Street, A Block, 16th Floor, Johannesburg Metro Building, Braamfontein, South Africa,
Susan Parnell: Department of Geography, University of Cape Town, Private Bag Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 2, 259-284

Abstract: Like other national urban policy documents, the State of the Cities Report 2004 affirms a vision of an inclusive non-racial city in which democracy is stable and development flourishes. But the 2004 report is different from preceding urban policy statements in a number of critical respects, not least that it is not a formal statement of government. In part, the relative autonomy of the Report's sponsor, the South African Cities Network (a quango of state and non-state affiliates), explains its divergent analytical point of departure in the assessment of the state of the cities 10 years after democracy. The 2004 report is premised on the notion that changing the racial pattern of inequality hinges on systematic responses to the material forces, demographic, economic, environmental and institutional, that shaped the inherited apartheid city form. The 2004 report is also different from earlier government policy positions in that it argues that urban development is not just a site of national reconstruction and development, but that the urban question lies at the heart of achieving the national vision of a productive, democratic and non-racial society based on a vision of sustainable human settlements.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:43:y:2006:i:2:p:259-284