In the past few years, the issue of land invasions and the appropriateness of governmental responses to landlessness have often been at the forefront of international attention in the Southern African region. The Zimbabwe land crisis and concerns about its sub-continental impacts have taken center stage. In South Africa, local and international human rights awareness has risen following the Grootboom judgment. This book confronts the highly charged questions of exclusion and unlawful occupation and deals rigorously with the appropriateness of informal settlement responses in South Africa. It does so through a comparison with Brazil. The international and comparative aspects of the book are particularly noteworthy. Part one provides an international perspective on informal settlement intervention in Brazil and South Africa. It tracks the development of influential international positions on informal settlement intervention and argues that the South African paradigm is distorted, neither Marxist nor purely liberal. Part two explores the evolution of informal settlement in South Africa and Brazil from a socio-political perspective. This comparison brings into sharp relief the individualized, standardized intervention in South Africa and the more responsive informal settlement intervention approach in Brazil, especially in those municipalities with strong Workers’ Party mandates. The Brazilian experience presented in this book makes a compelling and provocative case for exploring an approach in South Africa that is more responsive and progressive, a people-managed process with political dimensions. It fundamentally calls into question the validity of market-driven arguments that support the current framework and challenges its people-centered rhetoric. This book is itself likely to stir up policy debate on the informal settlement intervention question, the absence of which it identifies as a fundamental constraint to challenging the current approach. It makes an eloquent and compelling case for a paradigm shift.
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: Africa World Press (June 1, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces