Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Question 4 South Africa's future

What is the outlook for South Africa over the next 30 years, specifically in terms of uplifting the previously disadvantaged?


  1. One of the main considerations of the next thirty years in South Africa will be the uplifiting of those disadvantaged by the apartheid regime.

    Some of the initial attempts at this have been to give those that have been previously disadvantaged the opportunity to hold higher employment positions (over those who would not have been disadvantaged). This has increased the amount of "disadvantaged" people in the higher socio-economic class, however it instils inexperience in organisation structures. This approach only addresses the symptoms of the structure in South Africa and creates new injustices for the marginal groups in society who were neither disadvantaged or advantaged by the apartheid structure (i.e. the "coloured" population).

    South Africa requires major institutional reform to address the organisational structure that created the disadvantage in the first place. In my opinion this would be the most positive approach for the nation in the next 30 years.

    Jarrod Colbert

  2. It has been argued that planning practice in South Africa is still to an extent informed by imported Western theory that is unresponsive to the unique challenges posed by large urban populations living outside formal government and regulatory systems. The capacity of South Africa's planning system to uplift the previously disadvantaged over the next 30 years will be dependent on its ability to relate to deprived these segments of the population.

    This entails a participatory approach alongside managerialist government that enriches local democracy and empowers the previously marginalised. This requires entirely new ways of looking at planning and its role, but it has been argued that integrated development plan is an instrument that could potentially facilitate this approach in future.

    Harrison, P., Todes, A., Watson, V. 2008. Planning and Transformation: Learning from the Post-Apartheid Experience. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

  3. South Africa has been a victim of racial segregation and growing inequalities as a result of the post WWII apartheid. The outlook for South Africa in terms of uplifting these previously disadvantaged groups in the next 30 years has previously involved key roles by planners in the implementation of the apartheid and during South Africa’s transition to democracy, including efforts to return unfair and unlawfully claimed land and target the previously disadvantaged black population, also efforts to redistribute wealth, and improvement in living conditions. These efforts by government to ‘socially engineer’ the country towards decreasing democracy instead increased inequalities in the ‘coloured population’. The desirable outlook is hindered by a poor local government structure, lack of skills and expertise, poor management of public hospitals and the criminal justice system. The outlook for South Africa in the next 30 years therefore requires efforts to reform the governance structure itself towards better management and local governance to empower those who have been previously marginalized.

  4. South Africa’s current local government and planning system emerged out of the apartheid era of South African history. The difficulties that face South African planning over the next 30 years with regard to uplifting the previously disadvantaged are significant. Key issues include:

    • Insuring equality through the distribution of resources.
    • Engagement through governance and education.
    • Alleviation of poverty.
    • Integrating housing and planning (human settlement).
    • Development of adequate and sustainable physical and social infrastructure.

    Perhaps the greatest barrier is the local government system itself. Decentralisation has left local governments fragile and overwhelmed. They are under-resourced, lack experience and suffer greatly from poor management and corruption. Local government is still strongly influenced by western values, and fails to fully reflect the diverse population and cultures that South Africa is home to. Until local government is truly representative of South African society, planning as a function of it, will fail to fully address the needs of the disadvantaged over the next 30 years.

    Reference: Harrison, P., Todes, A., Watson, V. 2008. Planning and Transformation: Learning from the Post-Apartheid Experience. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

    Kdur008, 1518944

  5. Under apartheid the whites were given preferential treatment, while the blacks were treated as second class citizens. Post apartheid, not much has changed for the majority of South Africans. Instead the power balance has shifted and whites have been removed from positions of power and replaced with blacks. Coloureds (and the majority of blacks) have experienced little change.

    Unfortunately the current ANC led government appears unable or unwilling to improve the life for the average South African. To help uplift the previously disadvantaged, there needs to be a major overhaul of government agencies that have abused their power and replace them with those who are willing to be accountable and help ALL South Africans. Any benefits from this process will not happen overnight, but will likely take decades to make good the wrongs of the past.

    Jason van Niekerk 1510475

  6. South Africa is still building the foundations for a society that is equitable and prosperous for all members of society. After the depth of damage that occurred during the apartheid, many South Africans have remained poor, poverished and excluded. The central issues are the poor standard of education, under maintained infrastructure, poorly designed spatial design, corruption, divided society and an unhealthy population due to a failing health system.

    In my opinion, South Africa over the next 30 years needs to re-evaluate the current governance system including planners and local government. They need to be realistic about the capacity of the state as well as the mistakes they have made in the past. Local government is overwhelmed with a lack of resource and poor coordination with other governing bodies. This requires strong leaders that act as enablers in society that are capable and willing to advocate for positive changes. They need to facilitate coordination between departments. There is also a need for cooperation and participation of the public, private and civil sector.

    Jessica Parulian 1598075

  7. The outlook for South Africa over the next 30 years is fairly uncertain due to the current dysfunction of governance.

    Many citizens who were unfairly discriminated against in the past remain destitute today, but widespread poverty has increased the overall number of underprivileged. Therefore attempting to uplift only those who were wronged in the past has the potential to amplify social exclusion if implemented in a preferential or exclusive way. Attempting to improve the quality of life for victims of previous disadvantage is important in reunifying the nation and restoring confidence in leadership, but it is irresponsible to place it above the wellbeing of others.

    The corruption of officials coupled with the lack of funds within South Africa's institutional system is a major barrier to successful future development because without the means or motivation, nothing will occur. The best approach would be to act on a smaller scale, possibly with increased involvement by community groups and NGO's, in order to encourage participation in planning processes and allow for flexible solutions in different local contexts.

    Jessica Esquilant

  8. The damage left by the apartheid regime is reflected through the black communities that are still experiencing severe inequality, poverty and social exclusion.
    In my opinion the greatest challenge that South Africa face is addressing the fundamental issues which are inter linked with the various social and economic issues. The current local government structure in South Africa is hindering the recovering process due to lack of funding and resources, various skilled and experienced workers and poor management.
    In order to uplift these disadvantaged communities in the next 30 years South Africa needs to undergo a greater change in institutional structure which must start at local government level and more active participation of the community in decision making processes. Local authorities must prioritise and address the difficult issues such as reducing poverty, providing clean water, improving AID awareness/ health services, adequate housing and social infrastructure and education. It is also important that planners and local authority plan according to the unique elements of South Africa and not rely on past Western ideas and approaches to planning.

    Kon-Woo Park

  9. Liam Clark (1461140)August 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    South Africa has not reached the post-apartheid era yet, but it is moving in a unpredictable manner to the point where apartheid can be declared dead. In order for South Africa to reach a positive and sustainable new era in its history, it must cater to those residents who have been affected negatively by the brutal apartheid regime. This can happen in a number of ways:

    Local and national government should address priority issues such as AIDS awareness, delivery of a clean water supply, the provision of adequate housing and schooling so that shanty town living is eliminated.
    To complement the authorities addresses, volunteer community groups and individual citizens could input into the planning process, what they think is the best for their communities so these addresses and spirations could come to fruition.
    Most importantly when making these aspirations happen, South Africas unique culture should be embraced and the introduction of too many western ideologies should not occur. This in turn will create a South Africa with a proud heritage and patriotic people of all races who work together to create sustainable communities unlike those in the apartheid regime.

  10. People in South Africa are still disadvantaged by the apartheid regime, even though blacks occupy approximately 80% of the population, compared to the white people’s 10%.

    There are considerable problems with the housing conditions people are exposed to, high density budget housing, communally owned infertile farming land and this offers limited economic opportunities.

    The main issues that need to be dealt with in the next 30 years that will help uplift the inequality experienced in South Africa include:

    • Land ownership, how are the previously dispossessed going to be rectified?
    • Distribution of resources in such a way that ensures equality
    • Reverse sensitivity, needs to be an institutional reform, opposed to local government and police being involved in the process of ‘keeping whites here and keeping blacks there’.
    • Controlling development priorities,
    o Sustainability; in terms of infrastructure, how to reduce GHG’s whilst improving quality of life
    o Poverty reduction; dealing with the issue of ‘cramming’,
    • Birth rates/ age structure/ demographics
    • Educational equality; bringing in a universal curriculum (although this may cause confusion)
    • Getting people engaged and involved in the governance process, getting people ‘confident’ to become engaged
    • Dealing with the issue of aids (as people with aids are unable to work- which causes disadvantage, not only for the families but the country as a whole.

    Craig Mathieson i.d 1645513

  11. South Africa has been suffered many problems such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, crime, and spatial fragmentation for a long time. The outlook for South Africa over the next 30 years, specifically in terms of uplifting the previously disadvantaged, determined by South Africa’s current planning system and its local government. It will be dependent on how effective the services can be delivered and the problems can be responded. The current planning system and the role of local government Shaped within imported western discourses on governance, planning and urban management.

    South Africa will face many challenges in future development. One major challenge is local government’s complex system of intergovernmental relations. The huge diversity among municipalities is another challenge. Local government will need to pay more attention on the post-apartheid planning development. Instead of trying too much to quickly, South Africa also needs to strengthen the fragile institutional forms gradually through a careful, pragmatic process of decentralization. Other key issues such as participatory democracy presents important roles in the development in the future as well.

    Reference: Harrison, P., Todes, A., Watson, V. 2008. Planning and Transformation: Learning from the Post-Apartheid Experience. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

    xwan290 ID: 1543816

  12. Apartheid and planning are linked in multiple ways. This complicity has left a deep stain on planning in South Africa. Post-apartheid planning gradually took shape through the 1990s.However the promise of post-apartheid planning to address the spatial fragmentations and inefficiencies of aparthied is largely unfulfilled. Of course, this failure cannot be laid only at the feet of planning as space is produced at the intersection of multiple rationalities, and there are considerable limits to the power that planning has to shape spatial outcomes. But the truth is that planning frameworks have been simply too weak to force the necessary spatial coordination within the government.

    A more effective practice of planning in South Africa needs a lot of changes. The enhanced recognition should be given to planning; government itself should give strategic thoughts to the future direction of planning, such as strenghtening the strategic developmental role of provincial government; post-apartheid planning must also show that it is making a real and positive difference to the lives that people lead. It is essential to plan more directly for people and pay more attention to high quality design. In such ways, it will be more possible to ensure better response to the livelihood strategies and the real patterns of people's lives.

    Reference: Harrison, P., Todes, A., Watson, V. 2008. Planning and Transformation: Learning from the Post-Apartheid Experience. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

    bche086 1540113

  13. South Africa’s issue is not simply about making an evolution and then suddenly everything is successfully sorted out immediately. Their local government and political system has their own South African history to back up with, and this is the point where western style governmental system does not working for them.
    Their previously disadvantage issue is significant, but simply copying the other’s governmental system does not solve the issue, the civilization of each different area, will slowly change by itself and not responsible to the so-called immediate solution.
    Their planning system to uplifting the previously disadvantage in the future depend on its ability to better treat and sort out the people that are deprived and not getting the equal chance.
    The planning culture and planning role in South Africa need to be carefully reviewed and not copying the outside governmental blueprint, as it totally not meet the local culture. The South Africa government will be more responsible and making more proactive action to solve their own issue, since they know their people better than anyone else.

    Haoran Guo