Ngaka Mosiane

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011 717 7282 (fax to email: 0866 2158 0)

My research interests centre around, provocatively, ‘the transformative potential of cities’. I use numerous entry points into this area of research. The first one is livelihoods, through which I examine how ordinary people use the city’s resources to reshape their lives within the context of changes in historical practices of livelihood formation, landscape forms and social identities. The second entry point is the state’s spatial interventions – the ways in which such interventions (the Master Plan, for example) facilitate and/or hinder ordinary people’s livelihood activities. The third vantage point into exploring the transformative potential of cities is the ways in which social payments, (local) state spending, and basic municipal services contribute to ordinary people’s livelihood assets. Taken together, I deploy these themes to reflect on the extent to which ordinary people are able to harness the city’s resources to build livelihoods and to use such livelihood assets to pursue other ends.          

My other area of research interest is the intellectual history of informal housing: its major dimensions, the changes in the way this topic has been treated over time, the current emphases and future directions of informal housing research, theory, and methodology.