Research Articles

Permanent URI for this collection

For information on accessing Architecture content please contact Bongi Mphuti via email : or Tel (W) : 011 717 1978


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 15
  • Item
    A Place to Live
    (Johannesburg Citizens' Native Housing Committee, 1953) Reeves, Ambrose (Right Reverend, Bishop of Johannesburg))
    Admittedly this pamphlet does not give a complete picture of African housing, for quite deliberately it seeks to stress in pictorial form the dark and tragic aspects of a problem which clamours for a solution. In any case the present shortage of housing is so grave that it would be disastrous if any of us sought to evade the issue raised in these pages by trying to shelter behind what has to be achieved some years ago. Rather we need to have sufficient courage to face frankly the facts that this pamphlet reveals.
  • Item
    From dominance to diversity in international cooperation: a view from South Africa
    (NA-ERUS. Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South., 2003-05-17) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Critical research in the 1970s and 1980s in South Africa played an important role in exposing the implications of repressive and discriminatory urban policy and management. This critical urban research movement, which also engaged with approaches for a post-apartheid city, was subsequently replaced by a neo-liberal turn in urban research, largely informed by dominant international research thrusts. Within this context, what is the role of international cooperation? The paper takes a critical look at north-south urban research initiatives involving research in South Africa, to which the author has had direct exposure. The paper also examines the changing conditions under which local research funding is made available in South Africa, using the example of current restructuring of research funding at Wits University, Johannesburg. The paper argues that these conditions broadly follow the (neo-liberal) institutional trends set by the Anglophone northern counterparts. Should north-south cooperation reinforce this trend? The paper highlights the critical need for publication and dissemination in the south, of local as well as international research. Access in the south to academic literature, and the publication and dissemination of local research, are cruc ial in order for southern researchers to effectively cooperate. The paper points to the imbalance of facilities and resources in many north-south cooperations. Linked to this is the critical question as to where and by whom the research agenda is set. Far from assuming that research on South African urban issues is best initiated, conducted and funded locally, the paper argues that value is added when researchers from different regions apply different questions to the same problematic. Here the example is used of a group of young international and local PhD researchers addressing a similar urban problematic in South Africa, but with different theoretical approaches depending on the region of their academic home. The complexity of the unevenly developed urban south requires many different questions to be asked. The paper argues that ideally north-south cooperation should lead to enrichment in terms of the research questions and the theoretical approach, rather than imposing one dominant framework as is often the case.
  • Item
    Comment on General Notice 1851 of 2006 - Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill 2006
    (, 2007) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    In 2006, she co-edited a book (UCT Press) titled ‘Informal Settlements: A Perpetual Challenge?’ which seeks to promote in situ upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa and to provide a wide understanding of the complexities involved in this, also in relation to housing rights. The book was welcomed by the Department of Housing. The comment below draws on this experience. While identifying positive aspects of the amendment, it also points out where the proposed amendment is a departure from spirit and principles of the Breaking New Ground programme which introduced informal settlement upgrading, embracing a tangible operationalisation of povery alleviation and of the right to housing for desperately poor and under-housed people in South Africa.
  • Item
    The struggle for in situ upgrading of informal settlements: Case studies from Gauteng
    (Development Southern Africa, 2009) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Department of Housing released a new Informal Settlement Upgrading Programme in 2004, which makes in situ upgrading of informal settlements possible with minimal disruption to residents’ lives. To date, the new programme is not necessarily the municipalities’ choice when intervening in an informal settlement. This paper presents the case of three informal settlement communities in Gauteng province, which have struggled for recognition of basic principles of the informal settlement upgrading programme. Their requests have been met with great reluctance from local government. Through these cases, the paper seeks point to some of the critical re-skilling and capacity building areas that are necessary before local government can role out the informal settlement upgrading programme at scale.
  • Item
    Enumeration as a grassroot tool towards. Independent report of a peer evaluation mission to Kisumu 2-4 October 2007.
    (GLOBAL Landtool Network, UN Habitat, 2008) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) recognises community-based slum enumeration as a potential grassroots mechanism tool which could assist in achieving its objectives relating to land management and tenure security. This paper analyses a community-based slum enumeration exercise in Kisumu in relation to these objectives. The enumeration was carried out in Kisumu as part of a city-wide slum upgrading initiative. The paper draws on a peer evaluation that included interviews with slum upgrading stakeholders as well as community-based focus group discussions, mainly with enumerators. The paper finds that coordination of the slum upgrading initiative, and beyond this of wider and often competing city initiatives, is imperative for a grassroots enumeration exercise to link up effectively with the planning authorities and for grassroots trust to be sustained for ongoing verification and updating of the enumeration data. Key findings towards securing tenure include the importance of various forms of mobilisation that accompany enumeration, and of the informal and formal knowledge generation that results from the enumeration process.