Public Positions : The Right to the City

Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 - 16:30

New national spatial planning legislation in 2013 highlights the need to spatialize justice. However, the new spatial planning framework does not ensure local autonomy. In the new legislation, spatial justice remains poorly defined and is in conflict with hierarchical imperatives of ‘national [political-economic] interest’. This is at a time when South Africa is witnessing a growing national distrust in the local, as the political landscape diversifies and opposition party support increases in urbanised areas. Aspects of spatial justice can emerge in the absence of planning and property rights – much is to be learned from informality; spatializing justice is a complex but necessary endeavor, it can build a just and reliable economy, but it needs a strong political bearer that trusts the local and is willing to tamper with property rights.  The multiple dimensions found in a progressive reading of the right to the city help inform this political project.

WISER, the Department of Politics and History Workshop invite you to join us for the sixth panel discussion in the series of Public Positions on History and Politics.   In this session Marie Huchzermeyer (Architecture and Planning, Wits) will present a short paper which will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Imraan Valodia (Wits, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management) with discussants, Sue Parnell (Environmental and Geographical Science, UCT) and Glen Robbins (Development Studies, UKZN).

On-line streaming of this event will be available on this page from approximately 5:15pm.

Refreshments will be served; please RSVP to Najibha Deshmukh (

More information on Public Positions on History and Policy is available at