Wired – Five Maps That Could Help Solve Some Of The World’s Most Daunting Problems

wired.com. November, 14, 2013. African maps are notoriously problematic. Much of the data is old; roads, particularly footpaths, languish unnamed. Africans often navigate by informal landmarks like bars or gas stations, places not represented on standard maps. The slums have it even worse: On Google Maps they figure as blank expanses, in keeping with their reputation as shadowy, marginal places.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/spacial-collective-map-kibera/

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European Bank Injects R2bn Into SA Housing

ubuntumagazine.co.za. November 9, 2013. The European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide a further R2 billion (EUR €150 million) for investment in affordable and social housing in South Africa.

The new programme will be managed in South Africa by four local partners – two public development finance institutions and two commercial banks – who have already identified a pipeline of development projects that would deliver approximately 23,800 new housing units.

The first of the four loan agreements were signed in Johannesburg by Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, and representatives of Nedbank. Funding provided by the EIB to the four South African institutions will enable public and private developers to increase engagement in the affordable and social housing sector.
“Support for increased provision of affordable and social housing is essential for further economic and social integration in South Africa. The European Investment Bank’s second programme reflects the goals of the country’s National Development Plan 2030. Building on the success of the previous engagement; it uses the same model of fruitful cooperation with local public and commercial banks to help stimulate financing for building new homes and upgrading existing ones across the country.
We recognise the special importance of improving housing for low-income South Africans as crucial to helping South Africa achieve economic and social integration and development objectives.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President. The European Investment Bank’s engagement reflects the 2012 Financial Sector Code committing South African banks to promote a transformed, vibrant and globally competitive financial sector that reflects the demographics of South Africa and to direct investment into targeted sectors of the economy such as social and affordable housing.

Read more: http://www.ubuntumagazine.co.za/articles/affordable-housing-9185.html

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Gerald S. Dickinson – Blue Moonlight Rising: Evictions, Alternative Accommodation And A Comparative Perspective On Affordable Housing Solutions In Johannesburg

Social Science Research Network, 2011.

The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality v Blue Moonlight Properties 39 (Pty) Ltd and Another (338/10) [2011] ZASCA 47 (30 March 2011) is a welcomed addition to the eviction jurisprudence in South Africa. Courts have jostled for years with the question of whether socio-economic rights should be enforced in the context of adequate housing and evictions. Today, the central questions in comparative constitutional law now deal with how courts should enforce such rights. In other words, what are the remedies for violations of socio-economic rights? The usual proposed remedies are coercive orders aimed at guaranteeing occupiers the denied rights directly, planning orders or procedural benefits. Amidst Blue Moonlight’s increased interest amongst academics, practitioners and jurists as an example of South Africa’s ‘new normality assumption’ and its realisation of procedural benefits to a person facing imminent eviction from private property, is a comparative housing policy yet to be discovered and considered in South Africa. A policy-oriented interpretation of the text of the lower court’s opinion in Blue Moonlight reveals the policy blueprint of several housing voucher programs currently operating in the United States that may serve as a new model for how to enforce socio-economic rights for occupiers facing imminent eviction — the Blue Moonlight remedy. Vouchers are a primary mechanism for providing affordable, safe and decent housing to the poor in the United States and ought to be considered by academics, policymakers, jurists and public officials as one of many potentially innovative solutions to Johannesburg’s housing woes.

Download the paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2037758

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The South African Shack Dwellers Trying To Find A Voice

A Place in the City: Inside the struggle of South Africa’s post-apartheid shackdwellers

More than a decade after apartheid ended millions of South Africans still live in basic home-made shacks. We hear from the inhabitants as they eloquently argue their case for real citizenship rights.

The shack dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, began in 2005. Their slogan is ‘Talk to us, not about us.’ ‘It’s not that people like to live in shacks. No one will ever want to live in these conditions but they need to be close to their work’ explains S’bu Zikode, Abahlali’s elected leader. However, the group has not been welcomed by the ANC. They’ve been met with aggression rather than with negotiations. Police shot Mariet Kikine with six rubber bullets at a peaceful demonstration. ‘I’m not stopping to fight the government for my rights. Now they’ve made me brave.’ In the build-up to the 2010 soccer World Cup, Durban shack dwellers fear they will be bulldozed out of the city, or arrested. ‘This new legislation makes it a crime to build shacks or resist demolition and eviction.’ But the shack dwellers are determined not to give up.

Morgan – Ref. 4279

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NASHO & The Housing Development Agency (HDA) – Reviving Our Inner Cities: Social Housing And Urban Regeneration In South Africa

thehda.co.za. 2013. The South African Government’s Social Housing Programme is a bold initiative to assist in the redressing of the spatial distortions of our old apartheid cities. It is intended to provide residential opportunities that assist low- and moderate-income households to have access to the socio-economic resources of our cities. Through such opportunities it will enable families and neighbourhoods to take control of their positive development.

The initial Restructuring Capital Grant (RCG) subsidies were awarded in 2006. Now after 6 years of substantial government investment in this programme, it is important to gain a better understanding of where and how these grants were spent. Understanding of such a crucial exercise and related results will enable the sector better insight, whilst at the same time allowing for an appropriate basis to inform the future use of this important investment in the nation’s commitment to adequate housing opportunities for low-income households.
It is for this reason that NASHO has undertaken this study so that we can have a better understanding of whether we are using this investment in the right parts of our cities and whether this financing is used in conjunction with other programmes that extends its impact on the urban regeneration and restructuring of our cities.

Read more: http://www.thehda.co.za/HDA_NASHO-lo-res.pdf

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Diversity Education: Lessons For A Just World

Multicultural education, intercultural education, nonracial education, antiracist education, culturally responsive pedagogy, ethnic studies, peace studies, global education, social justice education, bilingual education, mother tongue education, integration – these and more are the terms used to describe different aspects of diversity education around the world. Although it may go by different names and speak to stunningly different conditions in a variety of sociopolitical contexts, diversity education attempts to address such issues as racial and social class segregation, the disproportionate achievement of students of various backgrounds, and the structural inequality in both schools and society. In this paper, I consider the state of diversity education, in broad strokes, in order to draw some lessons from its conception and implementation in various countries, including South Africa. To do so, I consider such issues as the role of asymmetrical power relations and the influence of neoliberal and neoconservative educational agendas, among others, on diversity education. I also suggest a number of lessons learned from our experiences in this field in order to think about how we might proceed in the future, and I conclude with observations on the role of teachers in the current socio-political context.
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