2015 Honours Reports
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- ItemParallel 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, LeratoRural 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.
- ItemEvaluating the Effects of Spatial Politics of Public Transportation in Johannesburg: A Focus on Bus Systems(University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Mthimkulu, NoluthandoThe 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.
- ItemA Comparative Study of Students' Experiences of Public Transport in Johannesburg and Berlin(University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Monakali, MaryamThis 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.
- ItemMaking Gender Inclusive Spaces Around Rea Vaya Transit Areas: The Case of Commissioner Street.(University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2015-11) Conco, ZolaThe 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.
- ItemChanging 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, PatienceSouth 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.