Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy


After apartheid was repealed in South Africa, the country’s system of forced segregation officially ended. Vestiges of racial discrimination remain, however, including spatial segregation in housing, income inequality, and huge disparities in the government’s provisioning of basic services. The poorest of South Africa’s citizens live in peripheral communities, far from city centers and employment hubs. The poorest communities often lack safe streets and safe toilets. Whereas wealthier South Africans are able to pay private policing companies to provide armed security, those in the poorest of communities must live with regular fear of violent crime. The problem is compounded by a flawed method of allocating police resources, which has resulted in unequal distribution of government-provided security. The situation is now dismal for many township residents, but hope has emerged through the efforts of concerned activists, clever urban designers, and many of the residents themselves. With focus on safety, land justice, and education, the situation can soon be turned around.