Urban housing constraints and civil society engagement in Cape Town, South Africa : an analysis of the N2 Gateway project

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

With the end of apartheid, many South Africans were anticipating improved living conditions and a better quality of life. Instead, over fifteen years later, many still reside in informal settlements, waiting for their government to rectify decades of inequality and injustice. The housing backlog continues to grow as planners reevaluate prior housing development plans and launch new housing strategies. At the same time, the vibrant activist community, which took root during the oppressive apartheid years, rallies around the struggles of the impoverished using a variety of tactics to advocate for policies which may close the widening economic gap. This paper examines the N2 Gateway Project in Cape Town, South Africa, a pilot project of nation’s new Breaking New Ground housing strategy, and the ways in which civil society has engaged with the project. Though this pilot has been plagued with delays, missed targets, and growing opposition, it is still intended to serve as a model for other projects and impacts housing development across the country.

Includes bibliographical references.