2015 Honours Reports

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 27
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    Parallel Land Use and Land Development Application Procedures in a Semi-Urban Context: A Case Study of the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Motloung, Lerato
    Rural and former homeland areas, mostly within a semi-urban context, are predominantly characterised by parallel statutory and customary legislative regimes which are both fully recognised under the current constitutional dispensation of the Republic of South Africa. The existence of this dichotomy in rural South Africa pre-dates the 1996 Constitutional dispensation and is therefore the legacy of the apartheid era, which saw the passing of various laws such as the Bantu Homelands Constitution Act, 1971 (Act 21 of 1971) which was also later renamed the Self-Governing Territories Constitution Act, 1971 (Act 21 of 1971). The basis of the passing of these laws emanated from subsequent laws such as the Bantu Authorities Act, 1951 (Act68 of 1951) and the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, 1959 (Act 46 of 1959) which also resulted in the establishment of tribal/traditional, territorial and regional authorities which relied on customary and indigenous understanding to the management of land.The statutory regulation of planning and land use management was later introduced in the self-governing and homeland areas with the promulgation of Proclamations R293 of 1962 and R188 of 1969 which were enacted as Land Use and Planning Regulations in terms of the Black Administration Act, 1927 (Act 38 of 1927). This signalled the beginning of a legacy of parallel land use and land development application procedures found in the semi-urban contexts of Post-Apartheid South Africa. The Post-1994planning legislative reform process has resulted in a planning system that is very complex and difficult for the rural communities to comprehend, and for the tribal/traditional authorities to embrace. The reason for the challenge induced on the rural community is due to the current planning laws that prescribe land use and land development application procedures that have very technical and expensive requirements for the majority of the rural community to understand and afford.On the other hand, discontent from the tribal/traditional authorities is due to the fact that the current institutional arrangements in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996), the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998), the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act & Regulations, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000), as well as the new Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013 (Act 16 of 2013) has placed municipal Councils at Local Government, at the centre of planning and land use and development management decision-making, with tribal authorities as consulted participants in the process.In attaining the intended outcomes of planning, this therefore calls for an incremental approach to the introduction of a statutory land use management system, in as far as land use and development application procedures in a semi-urban context are concerned. This approach is one that embraces the incorporation of local indigenous and customary knowledge and understanding into land use planning and resource management. With the Thembisile Hani Local Municiplality as a case study, emphasis is placed on the context-specificity of land use management systems and applicable procedures in a semi-urban context.
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    Evaluating the Effects of Spatial Politics of Public Transportation in Johannesburg: A Focus on Bus Systems
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Mthimkulu, Noluthando
    The importance of effective and efficient public transport systems in developing cities has become a topic of focus. Here, the research report seeks to investigate the spatial politics of public transport systems in the city of Johannesburg. With a spatial and social structure that remains sprawled and separated, there is an inherent need to discuss the value of public transport systems and their role in integrating and transforming the city. The research attempts to provide an enlightening overview of bus systems in the city, particularly the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit, Metrobus and Public Utility Transport Corporation and to discover whether they have a place in the city’s future urban form. It does this through exploring notions of access, integration, resilience and transformation and how public transport routes are affected by bureaucratic and spatial decisions. I argue that public transport has the power to shape the city’s urban form and social structure. This leads to how the disjuncture in the system affects daily commuters and anyone who is required to interact with public transport. There are many different recommendations that are made to facilitate better systems. These include better infrastructure and providing more forms of access in public transport. I also recommend, at a more cognitive level, the changing of perceptions. In coda, the research provides final evaluation of what has been discussed with regards to having more effective public transport systems.
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    A Comparative Study of Students' Experiences of Public Transport in Johannesburg and Berlin
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Monakali, Maryam
    This research report is an analysis of the main debates, arguments, and concepts pertaining to the topic of public transport and the experiences of students’ using public transportation in Johannesburg and Berlin. The purpose of a comparative study is to understand the manner in which public transport is experienced in different contexts, whilst the case study method will be used to narrow the subject area of public transport down through using students’ as the analytical lens. A semi-structured questionnaire was conducted on students’ at The University of the Witwatersrand. The questionnaire revealed that public transport in Johannesburg is not efficient, as it does not work to improve the experience and participation of students’ in this city. I argue that due to the paralysing system of apartheid, South Africa has been left with a dysfunctional administration system that lacks the capacity to actualise policy. With the use of the Berlin case study, I further argue that there are lessons to be learnt from the successful model of public transport systems in this city. These are two contradictory cases that reveal the importance of a combination of policies, financial means, capacity, and the built environment to establish a good public transport system that does more than just enable mobility. This body of research reveals that efficient public transport makes it possible for everyone in the city to contribute to its vitality, making it one of the most important tools of integration between the urban and the people. This recognises that there is a need for transport planning and urban planning, as two spatial tools, to be used in conjunction in the planning of cities that are inclusive for all students’ and urban dwellers.
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    Making Gender Inclusive Spaces Around Rea Vaya Transit Areas: The Case of Commissioner Street.
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Conco, Zola
    The planning profession has been regarded as a mechanical, value free activity and mainly dominated by male perceptions. Planning policy has begun to consider more social issues, however, even with this transition, gender issues in the urban environment have been a particular challenge and have not been completely understood by planners. As a result gender issues have often not been considered in the physical design of the urban environments. The travel patterns of women and men have generally been understood to differ due to the different roles played by women and men in our societies. However, women’s vulnerability may also shape their travel patterns within the city. While numerous studies have presented findings about the strong relationship between women and their fears within the built environment, particularly in public spaces, little attention has been given to the relationship between women’s fear and transit environments in South African cities. This is an important relationship to be considered, as the degree to which this affects women will determine the extent to which they are able to participate equally in the city. A number of development plans have been introduced into the city of Johannesburg, as a method of improving the lives of its citizens. One of these has been the introduction of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT). However, it appears that little consideration has been paid to the environments around that BRT stations, primarily with concerns of gender sensitivities. Therefore, this study investigates whether the physical design of the built environment around the BRT stations has considered the effects of gender sensitivities on women’s travel patterns. The research assess whether the built environment around the bus stations have helped to reduce the spatial barriers faced by women in the city, namely their vulnerability and facilitate their right to the city. A case study was done around the Rea Vaya station on Commissioner Street and the adjacent urban spaces. Women of various ages were interviewed in an open-ended manner to gather in-depth information about women’s personal experiences and concerns for safety in the city centre. The case study also included a safety audit of the site, which was conducted by the researcher. High levels of actual and perceived safety amongst women were found, especially for walking in the area and using the BRT at night. As a result, women who were using the site were found to have distinct needs in ensuring their safety and comfort while using the space. A mismatch was found in the responses of women’s expressed needs and the variety of common safety strategies implemented by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ). The conclusion argues that women’s safety is an essential but neglected issue, which deserves the attention of urban planners. Drawing on responses from the case study and interviews, the research offers a set of recommendations that planning policy that focuses on the initiatives and responses that can be used to improve on women’s experience of the site.
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    Changing Practices of the State: Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo Officials’ Views on Opportunities and Challenges of Community Engagement
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Bosaka, Patience
    South African cities are embedded in a paradigm of transformation, informed by post- apartheid aspirations, good governance principles, and the value of community engagement in a democratic context. The Parastatal Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo situated in this broader context thus also envisage transformation in their ways of urban governance. This research takes interest in the institutional reshuffling of JCPZ that has resulted in their move towards the promotion of community development in the management and development of urban parks. The reshuffling aims to respond to pressing issues such as mismanagement, crime, homelessness, unemployment, vandalism inter alia which manifest in public green spaces, showcasing inequalities and poverty in ways that are difficult to manage. One of the strategies that are emphasized in responses to these issues is community engagement which is the arena that grounds this research investigation. The paper looks at JCPZ officials’ practices, challenges and experiences in their mandate of community engagement and demonstrates the importance of structure (the institutional programmes and systems put in place for this task) and perceptions (what officials’ feel and think about communities) as influential to the actual State practices. It also reviles the other side of the story (the officials’ narratives) about community engagement which is hardly documented in community engagement discourses.
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    Rediscovering Economics as a Crucial component of Development in South Africa: The Case of the Inner City Property Scheme
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Ajibade, Abraham
    It has been twenty‐one years since the apartheid regime was dismantled – an age that is synonymous with the maturity, balance and grace shown by leaders in South Africa and those returning from abroad. The proverbial torch has been passed down to the next generation to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and forge a new zeitgeist, one that is accepting of all. Yet, the need to forthrightly address the impacts of separate development and state-advocated forms and systems of preferential treatment remains at the forefront of public discourse. Development has many dimensions and planning interests - urban, development, economic and policy - are concerned with all of these. This report is primarily concerned with those ideals that have been supported by legislation in the form of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). Such polices were physically manifested through the mechanisms of many state departments and agencies, and this research report seeks to critically examine its manifestation in the form of one of those structures, namely the Inner City Property Scheme (ICPS). This research report utilised a mixture of evaluation and qualitative research methodologies. This allowed for the evaluation of economic empowerment policies through engagements with selected respondents. These respondents were selected based on their knowledge of the ICPS, Economic Empowerment and the Planning profession. Drawing upon these interviews and engagement with other sources, the report seeks to address the issue of planning’s limited engagement with the economic circumstances which are prevalent in each context and how the economic circumstances affect the interventions the planning profession proposes. The results of the research report found that the ways in which economic empowerment e.g. through the ICPS, was practised only served to benefit an elite grouping. These class distinctions were also seen to be congruent with the flaws of the planning profession. The reason for these could be traced to a lack of engagement with the economic aspects of development on the side of planners. The research report proposed a set of recommendations that sought to provide planners with the tools to guide the state in becoming truly developmental.
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    Coffee in the City: An Analysis of the Hipster Culture’s Influence on Urban Regeneration in Inner City Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Memela, Wetu
    The modern image of inner city Johannesburg is one that has undergone many transformations. These changes have been brought on by many different things, from the abolishment of political regimes to the rise of popular youth culture, such as the hipster culture today. Literature not only provides clear understandings but also debates, thoughts and questions of the hipster culture, urban regeneration and even the combination of the two. This research aims to understand the effect that the budding hipster culture has on inner city regeneration efforts in Johannesburg. Through the application of the Braamfontein case study, data collected in field work can be analysed through the literary understanding to paint an in-depth picture of not only the manifestation of the hipster culture in Braamfontein but also what affect their presence has on the district.
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    Impact of Alexandra Renewal Project on Women in Informal Dwellings: A Case Study of Women in Far East Alexandra
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Mazamane, Zintathu
    Studying on women’s challenges in urban areas might be a voice for these women and they should create a platform on which policies can address these issues. As a result, this research which is based in Alexandra Township (in the Far East) looks at the impact that informal settlement upgrading had on the women of the Far East after the Alexandra Renewal Project. The study is fundamentally an assessment of the quality of services delivered to the residents of Alexandra in the Far East. It investigates how the RDP houses along with other basic services in the Far East have helped women to improve their livelihood. Twelve women living in the far East Bank were interviewed. The impacts of the project are divided into three categories, the social, economic and the environmental. Within each category there were both negative and positive impacts that the upgrading had on the women. The study identifies negative externalities accompanied by informal settlement upgrading in Alexandra. This study provides a unique gender perspective of women’s challenge in informal settlements and the impact of informal settlement upgrading in an urban environment.
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    The Interface Between Practice and Theory Within Participation and Decision Making: The Development of a Precinct Plan in the Suburb of Bramley, Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Lishivha, Keitumetse
    In essence the study will investigate the link between Governance and Development control and how fair and inclusive the processes of decision making are by looking at these processes in the formation of the Precinct Plan of a specific neighbourhood. At the end of this research process I outline what has been discovered through the research process and identify to what extent the participatory process within the Precinct Plan process has accounted for the different interests of different stakeholders. From that I deduce if and how the decision making process in precinct Plans needs to be changed to be more participatory or whether we need to find more pragmatic and contextually applicable participatory processes to ensure equal contribution in contested spaces. The main interest of this study investigates how different interests of stakeholders are managed .The study attempts to uncover the rationale behind changes in land use and the prioritisation of land use in that specific space and how these decisions are particularity influenced by interest-based negotiations.
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    Navigating the City: Female Students’ Experiences of Movement in Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Makan, Darshika
    It is clear that men and women experience the city differently. The practice of urban planning tends to ignore this and continues planning in a gender-neutral fashion. Planners should aim to have a wider understanding of different groupings of individuals of society in order to plan inclusive cities that accommodate all its citizens. Johannesburg is a city that students move to, temporarily or permanently, to further their studies. Women’s ability to fully utilise the city depends on their ability to access transportation. Violence occurs within the public realm of Johannesburg whereby women’s perceptions of danger limits their movement in the city. This research explores how female students who are newcomers to Johannesburg (from within South Africa and foreign nationals) experience moving around in the public realm. This research investigates the extent that physical accessibility and perceptions of safety have on the movement patterns of female student newcomers. The research drew on the experiences of fifteen female students from University of the Witwatersrand. The fieldwork was conducted through a set of initial interviews as well as experiences recorded in a notebook and a second follow-up interview. Analysis was done through mapping, comparing respondents’ experiences and through relating findings to theory. The outcome of the research revealed that physical accessibility and perceptions of safety impacts female students’ movements, as well as other factors of the length of time since the move to Johannesburg, the cost of movement and whether students have company to move between spaces and their perceptions of spaces. It was discovered that their movement choices are more complex than the above two factors. Gender sensitive planning is the main planning tool that may assist in creating positive experiences of female student newcomers in the city. It is understood that planners need to consider the legibility of spaces and the safety of different modes of transportation. These students, due to their unfamiliarity with the city and limited finances, require easy access between spaces. It is also understood that institutions, such as the university, should aim to assist these young women with settling in to a new city environment as adjustment issues often do arise. The ability to better plan for this grouping of young people will ensure that Johannesburg is an all-inclusive city that does not further discriminate against women in public spaces.
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    The Economic Evolution of a Former Homeland Capital: The Case of Siyabuswa, KwaNdebele
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Mahlangu, Gladys
    Homelands, also known as Bantustans, played a significant role during apartheid to foster the vision of separate development set out by the apartheid government. As a result homeland small towns have inherited a legacy of spatial inequality in terms of being located far from social and economic opportunities. The study seeks to understand the current status of a former homeland capital, particularly investigating how it has economically evolved and survived over time in spite of its past condition. The study was conducted in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga Province, a former homeland capital of KwaNdebele. In investigating how the former homeland capital has evolved the study interviewed 21 households that currently live in Siyabuswa, together with the LED manager and property managers of the township. It can be concluded that such places are experiencing declining populations and struggling to diversify their economic base. However the investment by government has significantly contributed to the survival of these places in addition to the social capital that exist in such places hence there are still people who reside there. It is important that homeland small towns are understood in their current context in order to implement appropriate policies that will assist in the development of former homeland towns. Recommendations have been provided indicating alternatives for which how such places can be better assisted in improving their status- quo.
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    Exploring Maboneng as an International Urban Tourism Attraction within Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Murtagh, Rory
    Maboneng has become a prominent and valuable urban tourism destination in Johannesburg and with the positive and growing impacts and influences that tourism could have on Johannesburg’s inner city as a whole there is a dire need to find out how international tourists has contributed to the UR project, specifically the social and economic dynamics. Tourism is a massive component of what drives our economy on a national scale. Other than how tourists contribute to and impact the area there is also a necessity to figure out why it is that tourists are attracted to areas like Maboneng, the fact that we do not know intrinsically what these attractive components are poses a problem in trying to maximise on these tourism elements in the future. There is a need to find out from the tourists perspective as well as the developers and relevant parties. Urban tourism is a fundamental component of the continued sustainability of the inner city and to know what the detailed attractive components and elements are within the Maboneng urban framework would prove vital for planning and implementing future developments that could draw/learn from this research. Maboneng has been viewed as a precinct that is reminiscent of other international spaces, a homogenous urban environment which is comparable to global cities. There is a need to identify what aspects of Maboneng have been viewed as such (urban design, buildings, art, culture, and atmosphere) and how have these international ‘ideas’ contributed to the development of Maboneng. It is crucial that we find out if tourists view Maboneng as a homogenous space and what aspects have made them feel that way. These international examples and ideas taken from other international contexts are crucial to understanding how we as planners can either utilize these international examples as a means to adopt them further or to use them as an indicator or contributor to strengthen the South African example and identity. This leads to the next potential problem which is that of authenticity that is embodied in the ‘Africaness’1 of Maboneng, if that aspect, if present, is an attraction in itself. It is imperative that we find out what Maboneng represents as an urban city area precinct, to figure out if it is portrays an authentic African city, that it exemplifies and allows tourists to engage with an authentically African experience that makes Maboneng unique and original. It is essential that we promote tourism as far as possible but we also need to bear in mind what affects these tourists are having on our home soil (South Africa) so that we may be better prepared to handle the positive and negative aspects that might arise. There is a dire need to grapple with the underlying issues that this report might represent and use this information accordingly to plan and strategize better for urban tourism provision and support in the inner city of Johannesburg. 1 Africaness refers to how a place reflects or portrays the African culture, lifestyle and African identity within space.
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    Retail Development in Ekurhuleni South: The Impact of Chris Hani Crossing on the Space Economy of Vosloorus and its Immediate Surroundings
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Mtshali, Skhumbuzo
    As cities continue to grow and progress the agenda and work of urban planners and economists generally overlap. In light of this, understanding microeconomic programs and problems that affect the space economy is a key stride which has the potential of providing useful insights that can help plan efficiently and ultimately devise innovative ideas, more especially for long neglected communities. Communities living in the townships, otherwise known as ‘third space’, of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality used to travel to former apartheid towns such as Boksburg and Germiston for economic utilities (i.e. Shopping and formal job opportunities). The growth of middle class populace together with the augmentation of economically active members in Ekurhuleni south increased the demand for retail centres that would bring goods and services similar to those afforded to their counterparts in wealthier northern regions. This has sought to reverse some of the legacies of apartheid such as the elimination of the need to travel to areas outside the township for economic needs thus making a drastic impact on the space economy of the region. Whether, by virtue of current political dispensation, this has been motivated by the goal of transforming the space economy of previously marginalised area or the capitalist need to penetrate new markets the spatial outcomes are worth analysing. Micro-spatial transformative tendencies of retail development, which have remained in the blind spot of most municipal authorities in the South African context cannot be ignored or underestimated any further as a development endeavour which has the potential to reshape and reconfigure cities of the South. In addition, part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s socioeconomic and spatial goal as well as the Gauteng Provincial Government’s radical economic transformation pillar is to engage in programs that help rectify the apartheid spatial patterns (Manamela, 2015; Motsaanaka, 2008). To interrogate this Chris Hani Crossing has been selected. This research was inspired by a number critical views and debates on the role of malls and shopping centres in third spaces. The idea of third spaces, which will also be interrogated in the body of this research report, is a fairly new concept for an old occurrence which denotes a spatial realm that is exclusive and unique to South African cities. It is every so often referred to as a township or ‘kasi’ (colloquial expression derived from the Afrikaans word lokasi) – which is commonly understood as an underdeveloped space that is neither urban nor rural that was created as a separate monofunctional reserve for people of colour during apartheid, located on the fringes of towns (Mahajan, 2014; Pernegger and Godehart, 2007; Qabaka, 2013). Some of these debates are epitomised by this quote adapted from Urban Land Mark (2013: 2) - "These developers, they just come here, build their shopping centres and then take all the profits out of our areas." This research interrogates such statements by questioning from a planning perspective, the combination of interrelated aspatial and spatial aspects which has led to deeper research and discussions. In conjunction, the development application also considers both the impact of the shopping centre on the distorted spatial makeup of the area and secondary outcomes such as the further provision of job opportunities for the surrounding community both during the construction and operational phases of the development (Motsaanaka, 2008). With the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods of enquiry this research has discovered a localised impact of retail development on the space economy of Vosloorus. Initially, the spatial impact was activated by the development and expansion of basic infrastructure services such as electricity and water to the area which turned the Bierman and Brickfield Road intersection into a prime location for investment. This, as per development plan, was followed by the development of Chris Hani Crossing which further attracted other economic activities thus changing the mono-functional nature of Vosloorus. Correspondingly, retail is a key driver of city expansion and main shaper of the urban form, and infrastructure is a catalyst of development which is crucial for economic and social development, that improves the quality of people’s lives (Fairgray, 2015; Gwagwa, 2014). The secondary developments which have now agglomerated around the mall are the newly established Vosloorus Crossing across the road, light industrial development in the form of automobile industries and brick-making hardware firms on different parts of the intersection, the construction of the biggest medical centre in Kathorus located a walking distance away from the mall, the concentration of informal retail stalls around the mall and the attraction of mobile real estate offices and educational institutions to the area. On the other hand aspatial impacts identified were the increased level of employment, the curtailment of travelling distance and time which has resulted to locals having more disposable time and income to spend on other things as well as the simultaneous rise of both the formal and informal property markets. Evidently, infrastructure development and the establishment of a retail centre in a previously marginalised monofunctional area operated as sequential catalysts of transformation and further development thereby responding to the objective of rectifying the apartheid spatial geography.
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    Family Units to Address the Stigam of Hostel Life? A Study of Sethokga Hostel
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Moloto, Shereen Tumelo
    In the wake of the political transition in South Africa in 1994 and for some time preceding this time frame violence, squalor, overcrowding and socio-political strife had long become characteristic of some of the features associated with hostels and the stigma of hostel life (Thurman, 1997). Due to its history as systematically disempowered, yet, politically vocal enclaves, we have come to know or perhaps be familiar with hostels as highly contentious and antagonistic environments, with a burdened local identity (Ramphele, 1993; Benit-Gbaffou and Mathoho, 2010). The stigma of hostel life constitutes among a host of conditions, an innate reality where the residents of hostels inhibit isolated, destitute and unbecoming spaces (Segal, 1991). Built as single-sex labour compounds to accommodate African migrant labourers for the duration of their stay in South Africa’s white urban areas, hostels occupy a unique position within the country’s physical and mental landscape (Thurman, 1997). As sojourners in South Africa’s white urban areas, the law constructed a ‘legal’ person called a labourer who was ‘authorised’ to temporarily reside in the urban space but had to retreat to their rural quarters once their ‘service’ had been concluded (Pienaar and Crofton, 2005). Thus to draw attention to the unkindness of their living conditions many hostel dwellers have continued for the better part of South Africa’s democracy to ‘choose’ physical violence as a tool perceived to best serve and afford some attention to their troubles (Pienaar and Crofton, 2005). Within the context of this research report the term hostel/s widely refer to single-sex dormitory style labour compounds, which emerged in South Africa under the apartheid system and ideology of separate development (Pienaar and Crofton, 2005). The ideology of separate development and the resultant influx control policies were a distinctive trait of the government of a particular juncture in the country’s history - a government that as part of its mandate held to discourage the permanent settlement of the African populace in urban areas (Ramphele, 1993). This further translated itself in the government’s refusal to plan and consent to any sort of ‘meaningful’ investment into areas designated for the other who were primarily located in the townships on the periphery of the urban terrain (Ramphele, 1993).
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    Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Livelihoods: the Siyakhana Initiative
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) van Niekerk, Bianca
    This Honours research report assesses whether participation in urban agriculture helps reduce poverty in Johannesburg and improves the livelihoods of its inner city poor. The investigation was undertaken in Bez Valley, Bezuidenhout Park, where the Siyakhana food garden is located. The findings of the investigation revealed that the Siyakhana Initiative has improved the livelihoods of its gardeners by improving their food security, helping them gain an income and has become a place where the gardeners are able to benefit by learning about permaculture. However, the findings also revealed that the gardeners have not fully benefitted from the food garden, but rather that they have been able to receive income simply due to external funding the Initiative has received. Also, the report shows that the Siyakhana garden has not been able to extend its benefits to the broader community, mainly due to its poor business model. This nevertheless laid bare the fact that the Initiative is in need of more support from the CoJ despite their attempts to put food security on the policy agenda. It has also emphasised that support from urban planning and local government as a whole is needed in order to ensure that urban agricultural projects such as Siyakhana become more sustainable in the future.
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    Exploring the Implications of SPLUMA’ (16: 2013) Municipal Planning Tribunal in South African Local Government: The Case of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015) Sibiya, Zwelibanzi
    Together with the enactment of a new legislature in the form of SPLUMA (16: 2013), the change from a provincial based DFA Tribunal to a local based SPLUMA Tribunal raised many implications and issues for the local government sector. The objective of the research was to explore the implications of adopting a local government based tribunal. The purpose was mainly focused on the operations of a tribunal. A qualitative method was used in the research and it included analysing contents as well as conducting interviews. International case studies were used to analyse the findings. It was found that the CJMM will use its planning committee as a temporary tribunal. The implementation of the tribunal has uncovered capacity, resource and governance issues that exist within the CJMM. Therefore, the implication of adopting and implementing a tribunal for the CJMM include having to increase resources and capacity as well finding ways to maintain the transparency within the tribunal.
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    To What Extent Can Free Wireless Broadband Infrastructure Reinvigorate Church Square in Pretoria?
    (2015) Pule, Katlego
    Some critics of the information age believe that technology could potentially add to a public space’s genius loci as the internet is fast becoming ubiquitous in cities. Through investigating this phenomenon, this research report explored the impact of free wifi in Pretoria’s Church Square focusing on how it affects the functions and user’s social interactions within the space. The methods used for exploring this were adopted from existing case studies employing user surveys and various observations techniques. The findings revealed that free wifi alone cannot alter the user’s social interactions and the functions of Church Square to a great extent as there are other contributors to the space’s genius loci. Despite this limitation, the presence of free wifi adds another dimension by encouraging alternative methods of communication in Church Square.  
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    The Impact of BRT Systems on Local Economic Development: The Case of Meadowlands, Soweto
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015) Ngobeni, Matimba
    Urban planners and transportation advocates around the world have become more innovative in confronting regional and global development concerns such as rapid urbanisation, congestion, urban sprawl, climate change, mounting infrastructure costs and high levels of urban poverty. In addressing these pressing issues, among many other policy advances, Local Economic Development and Transit Oriented Development have grown in popularity because they are considered important strategies in the notion of sustainable development. Due to the aforestated economic realities, environmental and social problems, most cities around the world support a change of transport modes in favour of efficient and sustainable mass transit options over private vehicles. As one example of this shift, BRT systems have become widely implemented. There are a wide-ranging reported socioeconomic and environmental benefits associated with BRT systems worldwide. This study focuses on the economic prospects they do offer in the context of Johannesburg. The central objective of this study is then to scrutinise the impacts the Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya BRT network has had on businesses and residents’ livelihoods in Meadowlands, Soweto. The study uses a single case study to deepen an understanding of how public transport improvements tend to influence social and economic development strategies in previously disadvantaged, emerging economy areas. The research is based on the critical analysis of literature on TOD and LED and qualitative interviews in Meadowlands and their critical analysis. A set of nuanced perspectives emerged on how the City of Johannesburg might formulate and carry out future TOD policy and projects as a way of effectively facilitating economic development through public interventions. Most pertinently, the study found that the operational Rea Vaya system in Meadowlands has improved access to social and economic opportunities. It has provided employment opportunities and triggered the development of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises. The provision of BRT services also diversified and improved mobility options in this area. However, affordability still remains a two-fold question among the BRT users and non-users.
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    The Feasibility of Bicycling in Moving Away from the Automobile-Centric City: The Case of Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015) Lekgothoane, Dineo
    “In the 20th century, as motorization progressed, cities poured most of their investment into roads, to accommodate motorized traffic” (Godefrooijet al, 2009, p7). Automobile dependence has risen since then; contributing to problems associated with declining city centres, increases in air pollution, traffic noise and road accidents (Greene and Wegener, 1997). Urban planners and city managers, together with politicians, are now faced with the task of reconstructing South African cities that carry the legacy of apartheid urban planning and development (Donaldson, 2001). These cities remain fragmented, and hence they continue to support a huge reliance on private car ownership. The research deems automobile dependence as being highly unsustainable, and hence the study begins to seek alternatives. The bicycle therefore gains recognition as one of the most sustainable modes of travel. This paper seeks to delve into the feasibility of instigating a bicycling initiative in an automobile-centric city of Johannesburg. That is, while the bicycle is widely accepted as a crucial part of any urban transport strategy (GPSM, 2015), it lies within the interests of this research to weigh the pros and cons of successfully converting Johannesburg into a bicycle-friendly city. Since the notion of sustainability forms the core of transportation policy, practice and implementation (Kamau, 2007), the study locates bicycling in the broader literature of sustainability and sustainable development. Part of the findings of the research incorporates the idea that for a bicycling initiative to be feasible in an urban setting a) there has to be a society-wide support (Wittink, 2009), and b) it must be integrated with public transport so as to allow bicyclists to have seamless journeys.
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    Street Trade Block Leaders and the Governance of Street Trade: Narrating Untold Stories in Inner City Johannesburg
    (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015) Mmbulaheni, Kwashaba
    Street trading management is relatively undocumented and quite complex. This entails dealing with informality, mobility, fluidity, survivalism and entrepreneurship, competition over land uses, and complex politics. There is limited understanding of municipal management and its every day practice in Johannesburg. Municipal management is characterised by opacity, rumours of corruption and informal practices. One character in this system through which the everyday practice of street trading management can be approached is the trader block leader. A street trader block leader is an elected representative of traders who negotiates and communicates with the municipal management on behalf of traders. A Block leader is a street trader that has been allocated space formally by municipal management according to the CoJ policy. They have to occupy a designated space like any other trader. From the managements view point a trader block leader is the eyes and ears of management on the street. Block leaders play the part of a broker mediating between state and traders. They can also be viewed as an extension of the state at street level because they receive 20% discount on rentals as a reward for their work. The purpose of this research is to explore, present and analyse street trading management at street level in inner city Johannesburg, through the lens of block trader leaders discourses and practices, at the interface between state and traders.