Browsing 2016 Honours Reports by Title
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ItemACCESSING HEALTH SERVICES IN TOWNSHIPS: THE CASE OF BRAM FISCHERVILLE(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Gawbeni, Siphosethu ItemCommuter Choices and Prospects for Improved Urban Mobility(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Mandyanda, AviweThe purpose of the study is to understand the everyday social and spatial practices that affect transportation choices in the city from the perspective of public transport commuters. My research is a qualitative inquiry of commuter mobility choices and particularly the reasons behind them. In the pursuit to better understand how transport in South Africa can become more efficient in providing improved levels of access and mobility to a wider spectrum of people, my research focuses on contributing to an understanding of how and why people make individual travel decisions. It investigates how people are responding to the increasing public transportation options and aims to gain a deeper understanding of commuter choices concerning accessibility and mobility in Johannesburg. Drawing from theoretical writings on urban mobility and travel behaviours the main argument of my study is that commuter choices between different modes of transport are influenced by both various socio-economic, spatial and cultural factors, which are attached to practices, narratives and meanings. My study focuses on two transport modes operating along the Johannesburg – Soweto corridor within metropolitan Johannesburg: the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system and the Minibus Taxis (MBTs). It investigates how the two systems have addressed commuter mobility needs, and how commuters are responding to the increased transport options that have become available to them along this corridor. Based on semi-structured interviews, imagery, literature and detailed descriptions emanating from fieldwork, this research report presents everyday life in Pimville as a negotiation and displays the MBT and BRT stations and their users as active participants in this negotiation. The different themes present the different forms of commuter life as negotiation in Pimville. ItemConstructing a joint vision for Johannesburg nature reserves: City Parks and users’ committee engagements in Melville Koppies, Klipriviersberg and Kloofendal nature reserves(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Mokgere, TlholoheloThe research is about understanding the partnerships between Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo and nature reserves users’ groups towards the joint management and development of urban nature reserves. It is a comparative study of three nature reserves (Klipriviersberg, Melville Koppies and Kloofendal nature reserves), where the engagements between the municipal entity and users’ groups are studied through an ethnographic approach. It looks into genealogies and the nature of “partnerships”, which are questioned under the concept of transformation, whose multiple dimensions are unpacked in post-apartheid Johannesburg. ItemDiscovering and exploring existing perceptions of densification: The case of Orange Grove and Soweto.(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Mfusi, NkosikhonaAs the years go by, as the countries and cities continue to urbanise, the population growth of the world increases, and there emerges a growing concern of how to better equip cities to accommodate the rapidly increasing population. The prevailing question then becomes how do we develop cities to be able to withstand and to house the increase in population? Some cities have dealt with this predicament through creating new cities, or though encouraging the sprawling of existing cities. The cities that have chosen to think of a more sustainable solution for development have opted for using densification as a means to curb urban sprawl and resource consumption and in the process create more compact cities. The issue with opting for increasing densities is the fears that are associated with densification such as fears of overcrowding, loss of privacy, but most important the presiding fear of the myths and the memories of past failed densification attempts. The association of density with slums; degrading tower blocks; overcrowded, crime ridden neighbourhoods instead of with cities Paris, Toronto, Barcelona, Vienna or Singapore which are all examples of cities that have successfully densified in order to ensure survival. This report seeks to explore the perceptions that residents of suburban Johannesburg have regarding densification in attempts to help with the city’s progression towards a compact city. It aims to create and explore possible historical, economic, social or psychological links that may explain why residents have formulated or adapted the perceptions that they have. ItemThe Economic Impacts of the Gautrain Station at Rhodesfield(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Ndlovu, EdwinThe provision of reliable public transport systems in South Africa has been met with a number of requirements in which government wants to explore and utilise to its full potential. Planning is an ever-evolving discipline, with new concepts being conceptualised every day, and implemented in order to make cities and people living within this areas to benefit from the city. Transit Oriented Development is not a relatively new concept, as it dates back to the early 1970’s – 80’s, but the notion of using public transportation to enhance the image and economic opportunities of the city have always played a major role throughout the centuries. In South Africa TOD’S are relatively new, with the implementation of the Gautrain project considered the first of its kind. The Gautrain railway system helps to connect the major economic cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, with that of Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA). With the ever-growing congestion experienced in Gauteng’s major highways, a new system of transportation was needed to be implemented to help ease the level of congestion in which Gauteng’s highways have been experiencing. The Gautrain project is also meant to help foster economic growth, both directly and indirectly. In order to see the true value of the impacts it might have on the economy, the Rhodesfield Station was chosen as a study area. A number of critical factors, one being that Rhodesfield houses the only station in Ekurhuleni Municipality (except for ORTIA station), inspired the research. Secondly, the physical characteristics of Rhodesfield as a low-density residential area, and how the station will influence such an area. Thirdly, to add to the ever-growing literature already published and documented on the impacts of the Gautrain stations at varies nodal points. Relatively, businesses tend to settle near to areas in which amply public transportation is located. Ease of access to regional and national roadways, and the location of other major transportation systems all play a factor in helping draw investors (American Public Transportation Association, 2015). ItemThe Effects of Spatial Planning on Local Economic Development: How has the Orlando eKhaya Precinct Plan Impacted upon Local Business in Orlando, Soweto?(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Ntombela, SiphelelisiwePost-apartheid transformation is based on focusing on previously neglected areas and improving their economies to eradicate inequality and segregation. Strategic spatial plans tend to focus on a limited number of strategic areas that require intervention, while LED focuses on the improvement of the local economy. Both of these planning mechanisms can be regarded as tools to restructure the space economy in post-apartheid SA. Government initiatives, namely the National Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG), have been designed to facilitate economic growth and development in township areas, informal settlements and other marginalised settlements. The importance of focusing on improving the economic vitality and fostering social development in townships is twofold: firstly, for eradicating the economic stagnation and correcting the infrastructure deficit in townships and secondly, addressing the lack of integration of townships within the greater economy of the city. As a recipient of the NDPG, the Orlando eKhaya plan provides a useful scale to understand the relationship between strategic spatial planning and LED. The study sought to find out how this plan impacts upon local businesses in Orlando, Soweto, and specifically those in and around Bara Mall. The study draws on the experiences and perceptions of small business owners, in both the formal and informal sector. Face to face interviews with the business owners were conducted and policy documents were also consulted to provide a background to the planning interventions observed in Soweto. A desktop analysis of the spatial changes and economic performance of Soweto was also done to understand the realities of the space economy of Soweto and Johannesburg. It was found that all business were first time business owners, which may be an indication of a blossoming entrepreneurial spirit in the township. However, this entrepreneurial activity occurs in a survivalist manner as business owners had minimal prospects of growing their businesses. The study found that formal businesses at Bara Mall are not profitable as most of them only make enough money to cover expenses. Many shops at the mall have closed due to high rents and their businesses are not benefitting from the surrounding developments. The main issues faced by the formal business owners were the lack of integration with surrounding developments and increased competition from informal traders. Another challenge was the departure of bigger businesses and banks (which results in fewer customers for the small businesses that remain). The shopping mall has provided a new trading zone for informal traders but their timeous evictions by the police reveal that hostile working conditions persist despite the traders’ negotiations to occupy the space. Although they benefit from the foot traffic 6 outside the mall, the traders only make enough profits “to put food on the table” – like the majority of survivalist enterprises. All interviewees continued to buy their supplies from the city centre – which continues to reinforce the spatial and economic inequality between Johannesburg and the township. The poor performance of both formal and informal businesses provides some insight into the manner in which strategic planning and LED intersect in the township context. The dominant model for LED in townships has been found to be shopping malls – which attract informal activities. While the research sought to interrogate the Orlando eKhaya precinct plan’s ability to bring about LED, it emerged from the research findings that everyday realities may hinder the realisation of integrated strategic spatial planning in the envisaged manner. It has emerged that strategic spatial plans bring about unintended consequences, some of which are positive and benefit small businesses. Strategic planning in post-apartheid South Africa (especially in the township context) has been found to have minimal impacts on the ground and unable to adequately grapple with local conditions. There is an insufficient use of strategic planning as an instrument in LED in the case of Orlando eKhaya as the development of small businesses is not prioritised. Following the findings and analysis, the study provides recommendations for LED, strategic planning and the facilitation of the development of small businesses. ItemEvaluating the Impacts of the Zola Backyard Upgrading Programme on Landlords and Backyard Dwellers in the Area(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Hopa, LuthoBackyard rental accommodation is increasingly receiving attention from the state, urban planners and policy makers as one of the solutions to the housing problem in South Africa. The state in their quest to achieving sustainable human settlements, has through various policies and programmes attempted to address some of the challenges experienced by people ‘operating’ in the informal housing sector. The Gauteng Department of Housing’s (now Gauteng Department of Human Settlements) Zola. Backyard Upgrading Programme was one of these programmes, set up to revive dead capital in the township by ensuring that property owners in Zola get the maximum use value of their properties in a sustainable manner. The Department through the programme upgraded approximately 500 backyard shacks in Zola. The programme however, did not have the desired overall outcomes. This study is centred on identifying the rationalities of both the state who are implementers of the Zola Backyard Upgrading Programme, as well as, landlords and backyard dwellers, who were the target group for the upgrading programme. The research argues that the phenomenon of backyarding in Zola is best understood and explained through the perspectives and experiences of those who supply and those who occupy backyard dwellings and that often top-down state attempts at controlling and regularising such a complex and relatively functional housing sector could have negative impacts on both backyard dwellers and landlords, most of whom rely on income generated from this housing process. ItemExploring City official’s practices of community engagement(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Molema, LebogangPublic participation is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa, and it is at the local government that most of the community engagement is undertaken. However with this being said there are a number of signs that indicate that South African people are unsatisfied with how the state engages with them. This paper looked at public participation from the official’s perspective, as it attempted to understand some of the challenges they face, the complexities of undertaking community as well how they navigate these challenges and complexities. The research study was conducted on officials of the Development Facilitation Unit at the Johannesburg Development Agency. Two dimensions of community engagement were presented. Firstly community engagement meetings and how they were conducted, and secondly what officials do with the information that is received from communities, this is what the research refers to as ‘the behind the scene work’. ItemExploring the Relevance of Periodic Markets to Neighbourhood Identity(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Guya, Maria JokuduMarketplaces have been a part of societies for centuries and have served as public spaces of trading. While they exist in many different shapes and forms, common to all market places is interaction between traders and consumers. The market has thus always been a place of networking. Some marketplaces such as those of this case study are characterised by their provision of recreational spaces where people can interact with one another, thus shifting the focus of the market from solely trading to entertainment and socialising. The engagements between people, in these spaces, feed into their perceptions of places, they in turn shape the urban identities attributed to neighbourhoods. The scope of the research aimed at exploring how periodic markets contribute to neighbourhood identity, specifically looking at and exploring the cases of the Neighbourgoods Market and the LoCrate Market. The main question thus asked is whether markets, particularly the aforementioned, impact neighbourhood identity and the ways in which they do so. To answer these questions the research undertook a qualitative approach to get the perceptions of people, which were explored in relation to observations of both the neighbourhoods and markets. The dominant narratives that emerged through the research showed that context is an important determinant of identity. ItemFemale Planners in the Workplace and in Planning Practice(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Moraka, Sedimogang“Freedom cannot be achieved unless WOMEN have been emancipated from all forms of oppression. Our endeavours must be about the liberation of the WOMAN, the emancipating of the man and the liberty of the child” (Extract from a speech at opening of first democratic parliament by former SA President-, Nelson Mandela 1994) The above quote symbolizes the start of a new era, when all forms of oppression upon all men and women of different races are eliminated. Liberty was the driver of the new democratic South Africa and encompassed the drafting of new liberation policies. Its impacts included the entry of women in varied sectors of the work force, especially areas of work which were regarded as male domains. However, liberty is an immeasurable concept as it is relative to the person being liberated. The article written by Olusola Olufemi (2008) on the experiential and emotional encounters of women planners in Sub-Saharan Africa, provides a clear account of women through their entry into the male dominated planning profession; and found that they still facing different kinds of oppression.The types of oppression mentioned in her article are deemed to be tested in the current state of the planning profession and can only be known by the sharing of experiences of female planners in the workplace and planning practice.The research study does not only aim to obtain findings on the current experiences of female planners in the workplace, but also to understand the effect that the workplace context has on the planning pursuits and practices of the female planner. The research report comprises of documented experiences of women in the public, private and parastatal sectors, who occupy varied planning positions, with the second and the third chapters reviewing the foundational academic literature on women and planning as well as women’s incorporation into the planning profession.The research report concludes by elaborating on the findings of the relationship between the experiences of the workplace and its effect on the female planner’s planning practice. It also ItemGIS as a decision making tool for development projects in local government: A comparison of category B and C municipalities in Gauteng(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Mahlangu, SabeloGIS has transformed the nature of business and decision making in various industries by providing insight, opportunities to change business outcomes. In planning GIS has provided opportunities for better decision making for spatial planning as well as other areas of planning. Even though the technology has evolved and grown into the decision making structures of local authorities in the developed world. In South Africa there is still a slower incorporation of GIS as a decision making tool within local government planning. The general performance of municipalities in South Africa has been poor as most municipalities failed to get clean audits. One of the leading results for poor municipal performance has been linked to ‘unfruitful expenditure’, poor management as well as wasteful spending, all which could relate to poor decision making. Most Gauteng municipalities have access to GIS but it is underused and mostly limited to mapping functions. The study investigated the use of GIS within two municipalities in Gauteng, South Africa. The study focuses on the strategic location and use of GIS in informing municipal planning decisions. The aim of the study was to highlight the role GIS can play in informing decision makers of best alternatives for planning projects while enhancing the performance of municipalities. ItemImplications for using Shipping Containers to Provide Affordable Housing(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Maphumulo, MinenhleSouthern African cities are more and more characterised by rapid urbanisation. Urban planners and other spatial practitioners are thus increasingly expected to develop innovative strategies around affordable housing to accommodate the influx populations moving to urban environments in the 21st century. In light of this, understanding the underlying elements that influence the perceptions towards alternative building materials is critical to identifying the implications of employing such components for housing. As such, shipping containers are gradually becoming a part of many contemporary cities around the world; however, that is still not the case in South African cities – even though, they are widely available and according to trends, they are a low-cost building resource. To interrogate this, the 61 Countesses container residential building in Windsor East, Johannesburg has been selected for this case study to reveal residents’ opinion. Public attitudes play a significant role in the success or failure of planning initiatives (Tighe, 2010). Recognising and understanding the aspects that sway public acceptance and the opposition is an important step in the planning process, this is especially the case for affordable housing developments, as they are often confronted by many barriers. This research report provides the residents’ perceptions of shipping container housing developments, based on their experience, with the purpose of, first, understanding the views held towards shipping containers as building units, and second to review the contribution that this particular building has made toward densifying the Windsor East neighbourhood. This research report further offers a cross-examination of neighbours’ opinions of shipping container housing and social housing to reveal a link between the two. This is to build a better understanding of the possibilities of shipping container affordable housing in the Johannesburg context. This research report shows how shipping containers have been used and received in Windsor East. This research also indicates that shipping containers are more accepted in rental housing typologies. The results and recommendations offer urban planners, policy makers and developers insight of shipping container residential opinion, thereby informing them of the possibilities for shipping containers in the South African context. ItemInvestigating the sustainability of the Housing Programme of Cornubia, with regards to Sustainable Human Settlements(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Bodhi, KavishAfter the 1994 elections, housing initiatives, aimed to address the inequalities created within Apartheid, such as racial and socio-economic segregation. This resulted in the 1994 White Paper and 1997 Housing Act which encompassed some aspects of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). However, housing policy implementation was criticised for many reasons. This resulted in emergence of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) policy which aimed at creating sustainable human settlement, as opposed to just housing provision. In the past few years under BNG, government has adopted several programmes that promote the creation of sustainable development, sustainable human settlements and sustainable housing. In order to address this challenge and create sustainable human settlements, the eThekwini municipality envisioned the Cornubia Integrated Human Settlement Project. This is a partnership between the eThekwini municipality and Tongaat Hulett Development. Cornubia proposes a mixed-use development, with retail, commercial, light industry and residential components. The project is still under development, but phase 1a of the housing programme has been completed. The research draws on aspects and principles of sustainable development, sustainable housing and sustainable human settlements; and how the South African government engages with these principles through policies and strategies. Though the state has taken the initiative to provide housing in Durban through the Cornubia development, it is no longer sufficient to just provide housing to people, as a housing development needs to address more issues than accessing shelter. Therefore this research report looks at the sustainability practices and initiatives used within Cornubia’s Housing Programme. There are many plans and strategies put in place to ensure and promote economic, social and environmental sustainability, however, given that the housing programme is still within its early stages of development, many of these plans have either not fully materialised for have not been put in place due to lack of threshold. This results in the reality of what residents experience which contrasts what is proposed for the development, with regards to sustainability. Residents interviewed stated that they have not benefitted much (if not at all) from any plans and strategies that have supposedly been put in place. Over and above advocating for the full implementation of all plans and strategies put in place to create sustainability within the housing programme, the main recommendation of this research report is to address the title deed contract between residents and the eThekwini Municipality. Residents should be able to edit their house or use their house as collateral in order to improve their lives through creating SMMEs or acquiring loans. ItemInvestigating the usefulness of green dual fuel Metrobuses for Sustainability in Johannesburg, through the 'New beginning for Metrobus' programme.(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Brink, DanielIn the face of Climate Change, all cities and their citizens are facing a choice as to how they will use and consume energy. In the variety of energy choices that exist, none are perfectly suited to solving the dynamic and wide ranging problem of Sustainability. The purpose of this report is aimed at investigating an alternative energy choice made by the City of Johannesburg. In order to determine the extent to which dual fuel buses are Sustainable, an exploration of the highly technical paradigm of Natural Gas Vehicles is necessary. Once the technical problems of Alternative and Renewable energy are understood, only then can the question be answered. The thrust of this research will attempt to answer this question by exploring Natural Gas Vehicle technology in Johannesburg and how it is, or could be Sustainable. ItemJohannesburg city officials’ visions for low income housing typologies along the Corridors of Freedom(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Lembede, Xolile Minentle ItemPrivate Student Housing in Braamfontein(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Ncame, SikhokeleThe limited capacity of on-campus university provided student housing has created a niche for the private sector to fill the gap and provide additional housing for students at institutions of higher education and training in South Africa. Braamfontein, with its large student population, is an example of a neighbourhood that boasts a significant number of private student dwellings that house students in learning institutions that are situated within the precinct and within the broader Johannesburg context. The focus of this research centres on exploring the perceptions of students regarding the quality and affordability of private student housing in Braamfontein, as well as assessing whether private student housing in the precinct meets and fulfils the requirements outlined in the policy for the minimum norms and standards for student housing at public universities in South Africa. ItemRetail in Johannesburg South: Perceived Impacts of Large Retail Establishments on the Business Performance of Spaza Shop Retailers and Street Traders in Orlando West(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Thantsha, SeremiContemporary second and third space economies are continually experiencing significant growth patterns in economic developments. Initiatives of reconfiguring and rejuvenating previously marginalised and economically deprived communities are deemed as ‘supposed responses’ to the states failure of redressing and addressing the relenting heirlooms of apartheid. Understanding the nature and impacts of such transformative economic developments on economic, social, and spatial conditions has not been heavily necessitated in urban planning literature. This is in reference to the nature of their competitive dominance within township economies and their effects on the growth and sustainability of informal economic activities. To advance this wanting knowledge, Orlando West was selected as a sample area to represent all the townships in Johannesburg South. The report contributed to this understudied topic through capturing local street traders and spaza shop retailer’s perspectives on this issue. Qualitative methods and techniques were used as approaches to exploring and gaining knowledge on this growing economic conundrum in townships. This research study presents results involving eleven (N=11) key respondents who operate local small and micro retail businesses. Conclusions were drawn based on the eminent narratives provided by these selected key sources to help answer the main research question. To halt this continual propagation of monopoly domination, masked cannibalism, cryonic capitalism and the culture of consumerism the report recommends future directions based on related secondary-data and findings outlined in the study. ItemThe social impacts of the Rea Vaya bus system on the residents of localities affected by the development: The Case of Rea Vaya in Moroka, Soweto(University of the Witwatersrand; Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2016) Ubisi, SkhulileThe Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 makes provision for community participation – as a tool to uplift/promote democracy at local level – prior to the implementation of large scale municipal development initiatives directly affecting communities. Although this has been the case with the CoJ’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, much media and scholarly attention has been placed on the Mini-Bus Taxi (MBT) industry and the extent to which its main stakeholders (taxi owners and drivers) are being socio-economically incorporated in the system. Yet, little attention has been given to the concerned commuters and/or communities, particularly their concerns and suggestions about the system. Aimed at filling this gap – and thus giving the community a voice in the operation of the BRT - this investigated the implications of Rea Vaya for the residents of Moroka, Soweto. The study targeted both users and non-users of Rea Vaya; and categorised the community impacts into five themes - safety, mobility, visual quality and liveability, and accessibility. Findings: Interactions with some residents of Moroka shed light on the actuality that in so far as Rea Vaya has socio-economically both its users and the Moroka community at large, the system is seen to be failing them. While the BRT stations, with their art (paintings, sculpture) and newly connected City WiFi system, have contributed to Moroka’s aesthetic value and digital connectivity of the area to other places. As well, it was noted that the system has ushered in developments such as the park and ride facility, among others, which has created employment opportunities for some community members. Yet, seven years later, the Rea Vaya BRT system has not managed to provide a reliable and accessible alternative mode of public transport. The level of service – particularly the electronic system – appears to be failing many of the respondents, and the low area coverage was seen as a major setback. This has meant that taxis remain more accessible for the Moroka community. Moreover, the findings reveal that little community participation was conducted prior to the implementation of the transportation project – the interviewed participants revealed that they were not involved in the determination of the routes that Rea Vaya would take - which has led to questions around who exactly the development is for: the government’s or the community’s. The findings indicate that even though the respondents appreciate the transformation of public transport in their neighbourhood, they have suggestions as to how its full potential can be realised and optimised. These results affirm that there is still more room for improvement in Rea Vaya in order for the system’s potential and operation to be optimised. ItemSocial networks, Migrants and Densification.(UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, 2016) Mphatsoe, PulaneThe ambiguous nature of cities has long been discussed by many scholars. Cities are both spaces of opportunity and abject poverty; connectivity to global circuits of goods, people and ideas, yet concurrently contain spaces of marginalisation (Kihato, 2009). The increase in backyard dwellings over the years has highlighted the high demand, and low supply for low-income housing in Johannesburg where many South Africans and international migrants relocate to for greater opportunities. This research report aims to document the relationship between backyard densification and the strategies of integration of migrants into their new host society. These experiences will be documented on the basis of social networks and interaction between the migrants and the locals. The urban form associated with backyard living provides a proximity which fosters intentioned and unintended interaction between neighbours. Backyard densification facilitates access and sustainability of social networks used by migrant women. These social networks play a significant role in the post migratory experiences of migrant women living in backyard dwellings in that they offer various types of support such as trading land, financial and emotional support and childcare just name a few. This research forms part of a greater study on resilient densification in Johannesburg, and though its scope is limited, I hope it will stir up further research pertaining to migration, gender and social networks.