Critical perspectives on post-apartheid housing praxis through the developmental statecraft looking glass

Khan, Firoz (2010-12)

Thesis (PhD (Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The principal question this study aims to answer is why and how a left-of-centre government not hobbled by heavy external leverage, with developmental state precedents, potentially positive macroeconomic fundamentals, and well-developed alternative policies for housing and urban reconstruction came to settle on a conservative housing policy founded on ‘precepts of the pre-democratic period’. Arguably, this policy is even more conservative than World Bank strictures and paradigms, whose advice the incoming democratic government ‘normally ignored’ and ‘tacitly rejected’. The study, which spans the period from the early 1990s to 2007, commences from the premise that housing is an expression and component of a society’s wider development agenda and is bound up with daily routines of the ordering and institutionalisation of social existence and social reproduction. It proposes an answer that resides in the mechanics and modalities of post-apartheid state construction and its associated techniques and technologies of societal penetration and regime legitimisation. The vagaries and vicissitudes of post-Cold War statecraft, the weight of history and legacy, strategic blundering, and the absence of a cognitive map and compass to guide post-apartheid statecraft, collectively contribute to past and present defects and deformities of our two decade-old developmentalism, writ large in our human settlements. Alternatives to the technocratic market developmentalism of our current housing praxis spotlight empowering shelter outcomes but were bastardised. This is not unrelated to the toxicity of mixing conservative governmentalities (neoliberal macroeconomic precepts, modernist planning orientations, supply-side citizenship and technocratic projections of state) with ‘ambiguated’ counter-governmentalities (self-empowerment, self-responsibilisation, the aestheticisation of poverty and heroic narratives about the poor). Underscored in the study is the contention that state developmentalism and civil society developmentalism rise and fall together, pivoting on (savvy) reconnection of economics and politics (the vertical axis of governance) and state and society (the horizontal axis). Without robust reconfiguration and recalibration of axes, the revamped or, more appropriately, reconditioned housing policy – Breaking New Ground – struggles to navigate the limitations of the First Decade settlement state shelter delivery regime and the Second Decade’s (weak) developmental state etho-politics. The prospects for success are contingent on structurally rewiring inherited and contemporary contacts and circuits of power, influence and money in order to tilt resource and institutional balances in favour of the poor. Present pasts and present futures, both here and abroad, offer resources for more transformative statecraft and sustainable human settlements, but only if we are prepared to challenge the underlying economic and political interests that to date have, and continue to, preclude such policies. History, experience and contemporary record show there are alternatives – another possible and necessary world – via small and large steps, millimetres and centimetres, trial and error.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die hoof vraag wat hierdie studie probeer beantwoord is hoekom en hoe dit gekom het dat ʼn links-van-die-middel regering wat nie gekniehalter was deur gewigtige, eksterne invloede nie; en met ontwikkelingstaat presedente [of voorbeelde]; potensieel positiewe makro-ekonomiese grondbeginsels, en goed ontwikkelde alternatiewe beleide vir behuising en stedelike herontwikkeling, gevestig [of vasgesteek] het op ʼn konserwatiewe behuisingbeleid, gegrond op ‘voorskrifte van die voor-demokratiese tydperk’. Die beleid is, aanvegbaar, selfs meer konserwatief as ongunstige Wêreld Bank voorskrifte en paradigmas, wie se advies die inkomende demokratiese regering oënskynlik geïgnoreer en stilswyend verwerp het. Die studie, wat strek oor die periode vanaf die vroeë 1990s tot 2007, begin met die aanname dat behuising ʼn uitdrukking en komponent van ʼn gemeenskap se wyer ontwikkelingsagenda is, en saamgebind is met die daaglikse roetine van die ordening en institusionalisering van maatskaplike bestaan en maatskaplike reproduksie. ʼn Antwoord word voorgestel wat berus op die meganika en modaliteite van na-apartheid staatskonstruksie en die meegaande tegnieke en tegnologieë van sosiale penetrasie en regeringstelsel legitimering. Die giere en wisselvallighede van Na-Koue Oorlog staatkunde, die gewig van geskiedenis en nalatingskap, strategiese foute en die afwesigheid van ʼn bewuste kaart en kompas om na-apartheid staatkunde te lei, het gesamentlik bygedra tot die vorige en teenwoordige gebreke en misvormings van ons twee dekade-oue ontwikkelings-isme (‘developmentalism’), groot geskryf in ons menslike nedersettings. Alternatiewe tot die tegnokratiese mark ontwikkelings-isme (‘developmentalism’), van ons huidige behuisingspraktyk, plaas die kollig op bemagtigende skuiling uitkomstes, maar was verbaster. Dit is nie onverwant aan die giftigheid van die meng van konserwatiewe goewermentaliteite (‘governmentalities’) (neoliberale makro-ekonomiese voorskrifte, modernistiese beplannings orientasies, verskaf-kant burgerskap en tegnokratiese projeksies van staat) met teenstrydige teen-goewermentaliteite (‘governmentalities’) (self-bemagtiging, self-verantwoordlikheid (‘self-responsibility’), die estetifikasie (aestheticisation’) van armoede en heldhaftige vertellings omtrent die armes). Onderstreep in die studie is die bewering dat staatsontwikkelings-isme (‘developmentalism’) en siviele gemeenskapsontwikkelings-isme (‘developmentalism’) saam klim en val, en wat roteer om (kundige) herkonneksie van die ekonomie en politiek (die vertikale as van regeerkunde) en staat en gemeenskap (die horisontale as). Sonder robuuste herkonfigurasie en herkalibrering van die asse, sukkel die opgedateerde, of amper her-kondisioneerde behuisingsbeleid – Breaking New Ground – om die limiete van die Eerste Dekade nedersetting staat skuiling leweringstelsel en die Tweede Dekade se (swak) ontwikkelende staat eto-politiek, te navigeer. Die verwagtinge vir sukses is gebaseer op strukturele herbedrading van oorgeërfde en eietydse kontakte en stroombane van mag, invloed en geld, op so ʼn wyse dat hulpbronne en institusionele balans ten gunste van die armes gekantel word. Teenwoordige verledes en teenwoordige toekomste, beide hier en oorsee, bied hulpbronne vir meer transformerende staatkunde en volhoubare menslike nedersettings, maar slegs indien ons bereid is om die onderliggende ekonomies en politiese belange uit te daag, wat tot op datum en nog steeds voortgaan om sodanige beleide te verhinder. Geskiedenis, ondervinding en eietydse rekords, moet wakker bly vir alternatiewe – ʼn ander moontlike en noodsaaklike wêreld – via klein en groot stappe, millimeters en sentimeters, tref of fouteer.

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