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University of Cape Town (2021)

The geography of inequality in Cape Town : a case study of access to water in Khayelitsha

Mokoena, Amanda Mamojaki

Titre : The geography of inequality in Cape Town : a case study of access to water in Khayelitsha

Auteur : Mokoena, Amanda Mamojaki

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : Master of Philosophy 2021

Résumé partiel
Section 27 (1b) of the Bill of Rights under the Constitution (1996) of the Republic of South Africa states that : “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water …” This section is preceded by section 26 (1) which states that : “Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.” Violation of these fundamental human rights in isolation may apply to a vast category of people. However, the residents of Endlovini in Khayelitsha find themselves at the intersection of oppressions informed by the simultaneous infringement of both these rights. For these residents, inequality in access to safe clean drinking water is directly informed by their location and informal housing status. This is a difficult position to be in because the people of Endlovini are neighbours to Litha Park, a recognized formal section of Khayelitsha whose residents enjoy relatively adequate access to quality water, and whose water services are astronomically better than those rendered in Endlovini. This disparity is immediately written off as a class issue. However, this study finds deeper links between geography and water inequality. This study uses John Rawls’ theory of justice to highlight water inequality in Cape Town. The study uses qualitative research methodologies through fieldwork conducted in the formal settlement of Litha Park and the informal settlement of Endlovini in Khayelitsha, to illustrate that there are inequalities in how people within the same township access water, but both settlements are still marginalized, compared to the wealthy suburbs of Cape Town. Interviews were conducted with the residents of both settlements, as well as officials from the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department to gather data and address the research question : “How does the City of Cape Town’s response to the water crisis further perpetuate water inequality in the impoverished communities of Khayelitsha ?” Key findings revealed that water inequality in Khayelitsha may have been created by apartheid spatial planning, but is sustained by the disregard for poor communities by the local government through unequal, anti-poor service delivery that continues to disenfranchise residents who live in informal settlements through poor water services.

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Page publiée le 9 janvier 2023