An investigation into the power interface between politicians and planners in the city of Johannesburg
The fundamental purpose of this research is to investigate the power interface between politicians and planners the City of Johannesburg. The background of the research arises from John Forester’s (1989) book entitled Planning in the Face of Power. This book has been used as a tool or guiding source for this research study. The aim is to test some of Forester’s arguments and to determine if they are applicable in the City of Johannesburg. Forester’s book on Planning in the Face of Power addresses how planners interface with power and inequality in planning practice. Forester identifies four modes of power which affect planners and planning practice. These are agenda setting, decision making, needs shaping and misinformation. The main purpose in doing this research is to investigate the power interface between politicians and planners, because planning is performed in the social context of our daily actions so, planning becomes the politics of our daily life. However, this study does not view the circuit of planners and politicians as bipolar with opposing parties or centres of power that fight against each other. Rather, it views the actions of both planners and politicians as a discourse. The normative stance is that this discourse is a platform for planners and politicians to work together to serve the needs of the society.