Improving shacks, upgrading settlements: An ethnography of solar power infrastructure in the informal settlement of Enkanini, Stellenbosch

Visser, Christo (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis ethnographically explores an in-situ upgrading experiment known as the iShack Project. Through the use of ethnography as method the research elaborates on the intricacies and tensions inherent in attempts at establishing a low cost energy institution in the illegal informal settlement of Enkanini. Demonstrating how infrastructures are more than material configurations, this thesis traces the various human and non-human actors, practices and discourses involved in the establishment of the project over the course of ten months. By Drawing of Fergusons‘ concept of dependence the research shows that although claims are made to the 'apolitical‘ nature of the method for the delivery of solar power, the iShack Project produces new political subjectivities that at times resist the possibilities of a low cost energy institution.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek etnografies 'n in-situ opgradering eksperiment bekend as die iShackprojek. Deur die gebruik van etnografie as navorsings metode gaan die tesis te werk om uit te brei oor die verwikkeldheid en spanning wat inherent is in pogings om n 'n lae koste energie instelling in die onwettige informele nedersetting van Enkanini op die been te bring. Die tesis wys hoe infrastruktuur meer is as net materiele voorwerpe is wat goedere aanlui, en gaan te werk om ondersoek in te stel in verband met die verskillende menslike en nie-menslike akteurs, praktyke en diskoerse wat betrokke is by die stigting van die projek. Deur gebruik te maak van Ferguson se konsep van afhanklikheid toon die navorsing aan dat hoewel eise gemaak is om die "apolitiese" aard vir die lewering van sonkrag te bewerkstellig, lewer die iShack-projek nuwe politieke subjektiwiteite op wat by tye die moontlikhede van 'n lae koste energie institusie weerstaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101448
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