Resisting informal settlement upgrading in Cape Town: The battle between developmental and informal governance
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The paper explores the peculiar politics of popular resistance to the upgrading of an informal settlement in Imizamo Yethu, Cape Town, following a major fire in 2017. The paper traces the politics around the response to the fire by the city and contending groups of poor residents, many of whom, paradoxically, continue to resist the upgrading of the burn site. While this politics maps somewhat onto identity politics between local and foreign migrants to the city, the paper contends that it is the imposition of what Chatterjee terms developmental governance of needy populations onto emergent but informal forms of entrepreneurship that underwrites this larger conflict. This is but one example of the multiple and contending forms of governance evident in the city that help explain the divergent ways in which residents experience urban rule along racial, national and class lines; and which constitute an obstacle for more just and inclusive rule.