Chapter 9: From the Hyper-ghetto to Statesubsidised Urban Sprawl
Old and New vulnerabilities in Buffalo City, South Africa
Gerhard Kienast questions the practice of emergency resettlement and redevelopment in Duncan Village (Buffalo City, South Africa), an emblematic inner-city neighbourhood whose inhabitants defied forced removals during the apartheid era, but have remained very deprived and vulnerable to shack fires and floods. The paper shows how disaster risk, geotechnical assumptions and infrastructural constraints have justified a new project of massive relocation to peripheral areas that have an eerie resemblance and are close to former apartheid townships. Based on interviews with politicians, municipal officials, consultants, housing contractors as well as shack dwellers; the analysis of plans, budgets and parliamentary hearings; aerial photographs; newspaper articles; and site visits, the paper argues that the relocation that has taken place has created new vulnerabilities without doing away with those it was supposed to overcome.