Social capital for whom? a case study of the implementation and practices of community-led enumerations in Stellenbosch Municipality 2011-2013

Beukes, Anni Rosalen (2019-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: the 2010 Human Sciences Research Council Review, Robert Mongwe had a two-page entry on Race, Class and Housing in post-apartheid Cape Town (Mongwe 2010: 18-19). Mongwe explores the question of whether housing policy in South Africa since the end of apartheid, may have been “paying disproportionate attention to recent migrants living in informal settlements” at the expense of addressing the needs of “coloureds and Africans who were born and bred in apartheid-era townships” (Mongwe, 2010:18). Informal settlements have become the most spectacular and visible material manifestation of poverty in South African. They hold appeal for politicians, activists and tourists. The ‘environmentally degraded informal settlement in a rapidly growing city” (Parnell and Mosdell 2003:1), one may argue, has thus also become the site for some of the most desired and most spectacular confrontations between political parties, residents and local government to contest the battle to defeat poverty. There is, I argue, a sort of ‘fetishisation’ of informal settlements in the contemporary South African urban space. It has homogenised urban poverty and biased development focus to informal settlements, with potentially detrimental effects in how local governments may approach poverty alleviation and sustainable development in their jurisdictions. Drawing on field work within the Stellenbosch Municipality and survey data from the Municipality’s collaboration with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) affiliated SA SDI Alliance between 2011-2013, I look at their efforts to make poverty legible and act on it through importing SDI data methodologies and practices for organising communities in relation to the Municipality. As a consequence of partly being blinded by sight, and accepting almost a default position of where poverty resided in the Stellenbosch Municipality, they may have perpetuated the trend Mongwe describes and, as a consequence, lost an opportunity to sustainably grow Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za politically relevant social capital for the poor and the institutionalisation of SDI’s community organisation practices within the Municipality. In November 2011, upon request from the Manager of the Stellenbosch Municipality’s newly created Informal Settlements Department, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), the global network of the urban poor, through its local affiliate network, the SA SDI Alliance formally partnered with the Municipality in November 2011. I focus on the activities and processes of the formal MoU signed between the parties to generate better and more accurate data and knowledge for planning and development interventions for poor communities within the Municipality. Through a case study approach, and drawing on participant observation field work research within the Municipality and GIS and survey data analysis, I describe and analyse these efforts. SDI, sees the data collection processes, which it has been honing across the Global South since the late 1970s, as a process through which urban poor communities may take a lead in development planning as a means to gain social and political capital – a means, as it were, to emancipation and participation for the poor in the democratic processes of their cities. I cast my research against/within the themes of social capital development drawing on, among other, the conceptualisations of Elinor Ostrom, James Coleman and Anirudh Krishna, as well as, Elisabeth Povinelli’s concept of social belonging.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die 2010 Human Sciences Research Council Review het Robert Mongwe ń tweebladsy-inskrywing oor ras, klas en behuising in post-apartheid Kaapstad geskryf. Mongwe ondersoek die vraag of behuisingsbeleid in Suid-Afrika sedert die einde van apartheid moontlik “oneweredige aandag aan onlangse migrante wat in informele nedersettings bly” (Mongwe, Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za 2010:18) gegee het, ten koste van die aanspreking van die behoeftes van “bruinmense en Afrikane wat gebore en getoë in die apartheid-era formele nedersettings is” (Mongwe, 2010:18). Informele nedersettings het die mees skouspelagtige en sigbare materiële manifestasie van armoede in Suid-Afrika geword. Hulle is aanloklik vir politici, aktiviste en toeriste. Die “omgewingsaftakelende informele nedersetting in ‘n snelgroeiende stad” (Parnell en Mosdell 2003), ‘n mens mag aanvoer, het dus ook die setel geword vir sommige van die mees gewenste en mees skouspelagtige konfrontasies tussen politieke partye, inwoners en die plaaslike regering om die stryd om armoede te oorkom, teen te staan. Ek wil graag aanvoer dat ‘n tipe ‘fetisjering’ van informele nedersettings in die hedendaagse Suid-Afrikaanse stedelike ruimte bestaan wat bevooroordeeld is teenoor informele nedersettings, en dit het stedelike armoede gehomogeniseer, met potensiële skadelike gevolge in die manier hoe plaaslike regerings armoedeverligting mag benader in hul jurisdiksie-gebied. Uitgaande van veldwerk binne die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit en opnamedata van die Munisipaliteit se samewerking met Slum Dwellers International (SDI) se geaffilieerde SA SDI Alliance tussen 2011 en 2013, kyk ek na hulle pogings om armoede interpreteerbaar te maak en daarop te reageer deur SDI data metodes en praktyke in te voer om gemeenskappe binne die Munisipaliteit te organiseer. As ‘n gevolg van gedeeltelike verblinding deur sig en deur amper ‘n verstek-posisie te aanvaar van waar armoede in die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit aanwesig was, het hulle moontlik die tendens bevorder wat Mongwe beskryf en as ‘n gevolg die geleentheid verloor het om op ‘n volhoubare manier polities-relevante maatskaplike kapitaal vir die armes te kweek en dieinstitutionalisering van SDI se gemeenskapsorganisasie praktyke binne die Munisipaliteit. Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za In November 2011, op versoek van die Bestuurder van die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit se nuutgeskepte Departement van Informele Nedersettings en Slum Dwellers International (SDI), die globale netwerk van die stedelike armes, deur sy plaaslike geaffilieerde netwerk, het die SA SDI Alliance formeel met die Munisipaliteit in November 2011 in vennootskap getree. Ek fokus op die aktiwiteite en prosesse van die formele Memorandum van Verstandhouding (MvV)wat tussen die partye geteken is om beter en meer akkurate data en kennis vir beplannings- en ontwikkelings-intervensies vir arm gemeenskappe binne die Munisipaliteit te genereer. Ek beskryf en analiseer hierdie pogings deur ‘n gevallestudie-benadering en konsentreer op deelnemende waarneming veldwerk-navorsing binne die Munisipaliteit, opname-data-analise en maak ook gebruik van geografiese inligtingstel vir verdere analise. SDI beskou die data-insamelingsprosesse, wat die organisasie sedert die laat 1970’s dwarsdeur die Globale Suide geslyp het, as ’n proses waardeur stedelike arm gemeenskappe die leiding mag neem binne ontwikkelingsbeplanning as ‘n manier om maatskaplike en politieke kapitaal te werf – ‘n manier om, as 't ware, bevryding en deelname vir die arm mense in die demokratiese prosesse van hul stede te bekom. My navorsing fokus op temas rondom maatskaplike kapitaalontwikkeling, onder andere die konseptualiserings van Elinor Ostrom, James Coleman en Anirudh Krishna, asook Elisabeth Povinelli se begrip van social te behoort.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107249
This item appears in the following collections: