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Accepted Paper:

Stratified citizenship and the politics of belonging on the urban margins of Johannesburg  
Hannah Dawson (Wits University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the social cleavage between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ in an informal settlement in Johannesburg. It unpacks the history of migration in the area and the implications of the insider/outsider divide for understanding conflicts over land, property and belonging in the settlement.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the social cleavage between established residents and those who claim to be ‘insiders’ against a range of people categorised under the rubric of ‘outsiders’ who make up a more temporary group of residents in Zandspruit: an informal settlement on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The paper shows how the distinction between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ does not simply map onto a distinction between citizens and non-citizens but indexes people’s place within Zandspruit’s history, as well as their claim (or lack thereof) to land, property and belonging. The paper unpacks how the insider/outsider division comes into force during political mobilizations that are never only about the distribution of (state) resources but also about who gets to make a political claim to Zandspruit, and benefit from that claim. In doing so, it shows how the insider/outsider division is integral to understanding the political economy of the settlement and the contestations over its present and future.

Panel Urba13
Migration and the making of urban futures in Africa
  Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -