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Cape Town struggles with ‘spatial apartheid’

Many poor residents of Cape Town, South Africa, complain that redevelopment efforts routinely prompt evictions and displacement to shantytowns in outlying areas. (MickyWiswedel / Shutterstock.com)

More than two decades after the demise of apartheid, Cape Town is among the most racially segregated cities in South Africa. Christopher Clark reports for Al Jazeera that the port city now struggles with a modern-day form of discrimination: “spatial apartheid.”

Many poor residents complain that redevelopment efforts routinely prompt evictions and displacement to shantytowns in outlying areas. The luxury apartments and condos that are built are affordable only to the wealthy, who are mostly white. Some Cape Town neighborhoods that largely escaped segregation under apartheid are now being divided as a result of development.

Reclaim the City, a social justice campaign, aims to promote a more racially harmonious Cape Town. Its mantra is “land for people, not for profit.” Activists support affordable housing in central and upscale areas to foster diversity and heal the “enduring wounds” of apartheid, Al Jazeera says. They also warn that the poor have fewer economic opportunities, and less access to public services, when they are relegated to distant settlements. 

Source: 
Al Jazeera

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